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Watching Lady Aoi Call Upon Lady Rokujo

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Kitagawa Utamaro, Japanese, (1754–1806)
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.)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. James W. Johnson
Accession Number: 46.1.63


Commentary
This is the right part of a triptych.

Marks
On verso, in pencil: Jo XIII 99. Signed: Utamaro hitsu.

Medium
Colored ink on paper, woodblock print.

Object Description
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.

Publisher
Sen'ichi (Izumiya Ichibei).

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