Watching Lady Aoi Call Upon Lady Rokujo
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Watching Lady Aoi Call Upon Lady Rokujo, 1801-1803
Ink on Paper
14 3/4 in. x 9 5/8 in. (37.47 cm. x 24.45 cm.)
This is the right part of a triptych.
On verso, in pencil: Jo XIII 99. Signed: Utamaro hitsu.
Colored ink on paper, woodblock print.
Edo period color woodblock print with an image of two women. Right panel of a triptych. Although in the novel Genji's first wife Lady Aoi never formally called upon Genji's secret lover Lady Rokujo, the artist Utamaro created such an imaginary meeting, of which this is one-third of the whole scene. Rokujo's attendants are quietly observing the arrival of Aoi's carriage, and the soft curves of their shapes add to the refined atmosphere of the setting. Utamaro particularly liked to depict figures behind curtains or bamboo blinds, to give a sense of mystery. Here, the shadowy figure holds a brush and paper, as if ready to write a verse to mark the visit.
Sen'ichi (Izumiya Ichibei).
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