Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Three Girls on a Riverbank

Artist:
Attributed to Torii Kiyonaga (Japanese, 1752–1815)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
early 19th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk
Dimensions:
Image: 15 3/4 × 23 1/4 in. (40 × 59.1 cm) Overall with mounting: 51 1/8 × 28 1/4 in. (129.9 × 71.8 cm) Overall with knobs: 51 1/8 × 30 3/8 in. (129.9 × 77.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
36.100.46
Not on view
Three fashionably dressed women depicted in Kiyonaga's graceful, elongated style make their way along the banks of a river. While the primary focus is on the idealized beauties, landscape details augment the scene with lively notes of time and place. Reeds and willow branches rustle in the strong riverside breeze that lifts the women's robes, suggesting a fine day in early summer. In the distance, the bustling traffic of commercial craft and pleasure boats alike add to the buoyant mood and locate the scene on the river Sumida. Coursing through the downtown commercial districts in the eastern part of the capital of Edo, it was a major thoroughfare, connected to a network of canals and emptying into Tokyo Bay. While abbreviated seasonal motifs were conventional in ukiyo-e paintings, this work is notable for its interest in movement in both figures and landscape and for the details faithful to the scenery of 18th century Edo.
Signature: Kiyonaga ga; Seal: Kiyonaga
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