Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

close-button
Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Kōromō Uchi Tamagawa
Fulling Cloth at the Jewel River (Kinuta no Tamagawa)

Artist:
Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1768
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
10 3/4 x 7 7/8 in. (27.3 x 20 cm) medium-size print (chu-ban)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1946
Accession Number:
JP3021
Not on view
One of a series of scenes from Mutamagawa (Six Jewel Rivers), this print illustrates two women, probably a mother and daughter, beating cloth under a candle hung on the pillar in an earthen-floored room. The fulling of cloth signifies a quiet autumn evening. Seen through a bamboo window is a tree with persimmons, another autumnal motif. A single towel hung over a rod deepens the homely but lonely atmosphere.
Two small prints on the wall illustrate fireworks near a bridge over the Sumida River in Edo in summer and the viewing of the moon in autumn. They are depicted as benizuri-e, examples of an old printmaking method that used only two colors. The appearance of these benizuri-e within a polychrome color print, demonstrating the new "brocade" technique invented by Harunobu, allowed the viewer to savor the contrast.
The subject of Mutamagawa, developed from the classical theme of beautiful rivers employed to represent famous scenic places in waka poems, was eventually standardized, probably in the Edo period, to form a group of six Jewel Rivers. As described in the poem, this scene depicts the Jewel River flowing through a renowned picturesque location in Settsu, modern Osaka:
Fulling of Cloth at Tamagawa by Lady Sagami
The autumn wind over the pines sounds forlorn.
In the loneliness, the sound of fulling cloth at Tamagawa.
(trans. by Miyeko Murase)
The poem was actually composed by Minamoto Toshiyori (ca. 1055-1129), not by Lady Sagami, as stated in the inscription.
Signature: Suzuki Harunobu ga
Chiba City Museum of Art. "Suzuki Harunobu (1725–1770)," September 14, 2002–October 20, 2002.

Hagi Uragami Museum. "Suzuki Harunobu (1725–1770)," November 2, 2002–December 8, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.

Related Objects

Picture Book of the Eternal Pines (Ehon chiyo no matsu)

Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770) Date: ca. 1767 Medium: Woodblock printed book; ink and color on paper Accession: 2013.884 On view in:Not on view

Visiting

Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770) Date: ca. 1769 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP671 On view in:Not on view

Young Woman Climbing a Ladder

Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770) Date: ca. 1768 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP670 On view in:Not on view

View of Fukagawa, Edo

Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770) Date: ca. 1764 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP697 On view in:Not on view

A Young Man Standing before a Garden Fence

Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770) Date: ca. 1763 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP668 On view in:Not on view