AUTUMN LEAVES (Toyohara Chikanobu)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1897
Condition: very good
Size: 37,5 x 25,5 cm



Rare polychrome woodblock print of remarkable workmanship made in 1897 by the artist Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延) in collaboration with the publisher Hasegawa Sumi (長谷川壽美). In the foreground, on the right, a bijin (美人) beauty, sitting near the mouth of a stream on an October afternoon, observes a couple of azure-winged magpies (オナガ) circling around the branches of a maple tree that begins to color in autumn.

The work, entitled “The Autumn Leaves of the Rainy Month” (時雨月の紅葉) is taken from a series of which only a few specimens remain and that is titled “Juni Hitoe” (十二ひと絵): a title that literally means “images of twelve human figures” but which, with a play of assonance, also recalls the junihitoe (十二単), an extremely elegant and complex type of kimono that was worn by court women.

The print, despite the evident aging of the Japanese washi paper (和紙) and the imperfections on the margins, is in very good general condition.