Perspective Picture (Uki-e): Theater District at Dawn on Opening Day of the Kabuki Season
Utagawa Toyoharu (Japanese, 1735–1814)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
10 x 14 3/4 in. (25.4 x 37.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1914
Not on view
Like Broadway in New York, the Sakaichō and Fukiyachō quarters were the center of Edo's theater district, which was particularly lively on the night of kaomise, the opening ceremony of the Kabuki season.
Toyoharu, founder of the Utagawa school, was known for using one-point perspective (uki-e), a Western technique. Okumura Masanobu (1686–1764) is credited as the first Japanese artist to use one-point perspective in depicting interior space, and Toyoharu was the first to master the device to depict outdoor scenes in ukiyo-e prints and paintings.
Signature: Utagawa Toyoharu ga
Marking: Publisher's mark: Nishimuraya
[ William S. and JohnT. Spaulding , Boston, until 1914; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Dedicated Collector: Mary Griggs Burke," June 30, 2004–November 29, 2004.