Blowing Soap Bubbles Under the Plum Blossom

Suzuki Harunobu Japanese

Edo period (1615–1868)

Not on view

In this print the device is again employed of a classical poem incorporated into a cloudlike formation at the top. The poem reads, freely:

"I do not want my mind to be tainted
by the smell and color of the plums,
but the wind stealthily carries
the mysterious scent and color into my sleeve."

Under a plum blossom tree, a mother blows bubbles as her son watches with amusement. The use of the plum, a symbol of sexuality and eroticism, coupled with the mother's activity and the child's celebratory dancing, seems to suggest the act of procreation and the value of maternity.

Blowing Soap Bubbles Under the Plum Blossom, Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770), Woodblock print; ink and color on paper, Japan

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