Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Parody of the Legend of Xu You and Chao Fu

Artist:
Okumura Masanobu (Japanese, 1686–1764)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1715
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Monochrome woodblock print (sumie); ink on paper
Dimensions:
11 3/8 x 16 1/4 in. (28.9 x 41.3 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
JP2637
Not on view
In a highly amusing and complicated mitate version of this legend, Xu You appears as an embarrassed, two-timing Edo lover and Chao Fu as his reproachful mistress. He is washing out his ears in a desperate effort to convince her that he knows absolutely nothing of a letter from her rival. The letter discovered by the mistress is seen in the mouth of her cat. The classical allusion is veiled in the painted cascade that is part of the interior decor.
Signature: Okumura Masanobu zu; Seal: Masanobu
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.

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