Art/ Collection/ Art Object

百人一首 素性法師
Poem by the Monk Sosei (act. 850-97)

Artist:
Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1767–68
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper, with embossing (karazuri)
Dimensions:
10 7/8 x 8 in. (27.6 x 20.3 cm) medium-size print (chu-ban)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
JP2441
Not on view
On a misty spring day, two beauties stand under a parasol on a terrace near a torii gate in the old capital, Kyoto, viewing the cherry blossoms at their peak. Like fashion models, the two women show off their beautiful and elegant clothing. The woman on the left wears a kimono decorated with a design of pines on a sandy beach against a red ground and an obi with a bold pattern of checks. The other woman's kimono is decorated with chrysanthemums on a purple ground, and her obi has a striking design of "snow circles" (yukiwa) against a yellowish brown ground. Each protects her hair from dust with a white cloth, which is embossed. This scene is related to the famous waka poem by the monk Sosei, written across the top of the print:

Looking far, I see willows and cherry blossoms
mingling together—
making the capital into a brocade of spring.

(trans. by Steven D. Carter)
Signature: Suzuki Harunobu ga
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.

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