Meng Zong, from the series Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety
Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H. 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm); W. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm)
medium-size print (chuban)
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Not on view
Harunobu treated a popular paragon theme with great innovation here, applying the playfully subversive spirit of ukiyo-e to the story of Meng Zong (J.: Mōsō), a boy whose filial piety prompted heaven to cause the sprouting of spring bamboo shoots in the dead of winter for his ill mother. The story is incorporated in a New Year's calendar print of bijin, or beautiful women. Combining a popular subject with the associations of a holiday, he made the virtuous theme entertaining to a general Edo audience.
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.