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Domestic Scenes

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Suzuki Harunobu, Japanese, (1724–1770)
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)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo (Japan, 1615-1868)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frederick S. Bailey
Accession Number: 54.1.24


Alternate Title: A Japanese Bush Warbler and a Plum tree

Commentary
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

Marks
On mat in pencil: "Suzuki Harunobu, Bailey 22." Signed: Suzuki Harunobu ga.

Medium
Full-color woodblock print (nishiki-e), ink on paper.

Object Description
Woodblock print of a woman presenting a birdcage to a seated samurai, in an interior setting.

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