Edo prints


  Design: Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)  
  Title: Above and below Ryōgoku bridge  
  Size: 38.4 x 25.6 cm (ōban)  
  Posthumous printing from newly cut woodblocks    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Utamaro Above and below Ryogoku bridge(bottom left)

Enlargement


Originally released ca. 1795-6 by publisher Ōmiya Gonkurō, this version was published around the 1920s by publisher and designer Hashiguchi Goyō (1880-1921) from newly carved woodblocks.

Below Ryōgoku bridge a chokibune (a small ferry boat which transported passengers and goods at speed along the river) is being manoeuvred along the Sumida river while its two female passengers, sheltering from the sun beneath a parasol, observe the ladies in the other boats.

This is the fourth print in a spectacular hexaptych of woodblock prints. A simultaneous view of the prints in this hexaptych can be seen here.


Artist’s signature on prow of the boat on the right:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
       
uta poem  
麿 maro you Drawn by
hitsu writing brush Utamaro

Followed by a black Iwa seal on the same prow as well as a rectangular seal of the original publisher Ōmiya Gonkurō containing his name and address: Hon Ōmiya Asakusa Kayamachi.

Red rectangular Goyo publisher seal in left margin of the print.


References


Provenance: Chris Uhlenbeck’s Hotei Japanese Prints

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