Lovers with a Birdcage, 1767-1768
Ink on Paper
11 1/16 in. x 8 3/8 in. (280.99 mm x 212.73 mm)
This print by Harunobu is one of the earliest examples of full-color woodblock printing (Japanese: nishiki-e). Harunobu has traditionally been credited with pioneering this technique in the 1760s, though it is unlikely that he was its sole innovator. We can see that several colors are featured in this scene of two young lovers in a house of pleasure, one of the most popular themes in ukiyo-e prints of the 18th century. The woman is handing a birdcage to her samurai lover, perhaps a symbol of her inability to leave her place of work.
- Meher McArthur, January 7, 2021
On mat in pencil: "Suzuki Harunobu, Bailey 22." Signed: Suzuki Harunobu ga.
Full-color woodblock print (nishiki-e), ink on paper.
Woodblock print of a woman presenting a birdcage to a seated samurai, in an interior setting.
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