Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Three Girls on a Riverbank

Artist:
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
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.

Tokyo. Tobu Museum of Art. "Nyūyōku, Nyūjājī ukiyoe korekushon ten," August 8, 1997–September 23, 1997.

Okazaki Mindscape Museum. "Nyūyōku, Nyūjājī ukiyoe korekushon ten," September 27, 1997–October 26, 1997.

Ōtsu City Historical Museum. "Nyūyōku, Nyūjājī ukiyoe korekushon ten," November 1, 1997–December 7, 1997.

Milan. Palazzo Reale. "Ukiyoe. II mondo fluttuante," February 7, 2004–May 30, 2004.

Chiba City Museum of Art. "Torii Kiyonaga Retrospective," April 28, 2007–June 10, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes in Japanese Art," June 24, 2010–November 7, 2010.

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