Evening Snow on the Heater

Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Edo period (1615–1868)
late 18th century
Polychrome woodblock print with embossing (karazuri), ink and color on paper
11 1/8 x 8 1/8 in. (28.3 x 20.6 cm)
medium-size print (chu-ban)
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
Not on view
The interior scene in this print is fortified by double windows, both a series of bars and shoji sliding panels. The windows, however, are open. One woman, seated and holding a pipe, seems to expect that she will be seen by a man through the gaps and will be able to arrange an assignation.

The other woman is making wadding by stretching sheets of floss silk over the lacquered dome-shaped heaters known as nurioke. Floss silk draped over a nurioke represents the "evening snow" in this print, one of the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers, which originated in China and became popular in Japan. The karazuri embossing technique outlines the shape of the floss silk, emphasizing its softness.

This print is not a first edition: Slight variations in color and patterns on the walls were added, and the seal of the commissioner, Kyosen, was omitted for the commercial product.
Signature: None
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.