Edo prints

  Design: Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)  
  Title: Enjoying the cool on the banks of the Sumida river (middle)  
  Size: 36.5 x 24.8 cm (ōban)  
  Posthumous printing from newly cut woodblocks    
  Photography: Jacques Commandeur
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Utamaro Enjoying the cool on the banks of the Sumida river (middle)


Special effects: karazuri (embossing) on the fan held by the lady on the right and on the fan the young boy is carrying on his back.

Originally published ca. 1795-6 by publisher Yamaguchiya Chūsuke, this version published around the 1950s by publisher Takamizawa from newly carved woodblocks.

Artist’s signature in lower right print area:

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

Red Takamizawa seal on verso of the print:

Takamizawa Seal

in which the kanji read:

Character Reading Meaning Translation
taka high  
mi(ru) see  
sawa marsh Published by
han edition Takamizawa

Two women are walking along the river bank with a young boy carrying an insect cage. In the middle distance fireworks ignited from a chokibune or takasebune (I’m not sure what type of boat it is) are seen erupting in the night sky of Edo.


Provenance: Ukiyoe Gallery Woodblock Prints

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