『閨の雛形』 正月 Plate from the Erotic Book Mounds of Dyed Colors: A Pattern Book for the Boudoir (Someiro no yama neya no hinagata), First Month
Okumura Masanobu (Japanese, 1686–1764)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Hand-colored woodblock illustration; ink and color on paper
H. 9 9/16 in. (24.3 cm); W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1929
Not on view
The source of red for beni-e coloring, as shown here, was safflower (benibana). Beautifully hand-colored prints like this one clearly foretell the technique of multicolored brocade prints invented by Suzuki Harunobu in 1765. Broad ink lines have receded into thin regular outlines to better integrate with colored patterns, while the landscape on a sliding panel shows an ink monochrome painting inspired by the Kano school. A pipe-smoking patron in the pleasure quarters has engaged the services of both a young woman and a young man. The poem at the far left includes phrases that can be translated as "fragrant plum trees" and "two guardian kings," witty references to the young man and woman.
Signature: Okumura Bunkaku Masanobu zu
Frederick E. Church , New York (until 1929; sold to MMA).
Art Institute of Chicago. "Ukiyoe Prints and Paintings, The Primitive Period (1680–1745)," November 7, 1971–December 26, 1971.
New York. Asia Society. "Undercurrents in the Floating World: Censorship and Japanese Prints," October 9, 1991–January 5, 1992.