N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1830 ca.
Condition: good
Size: 26 x 37 cm



Important polychrome woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format, made around 1830 by the artist Keisai Eisen (渓斎英泉) and by the publisher Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛), owner of Kikakudo (喜鶴堂). The work, depicting a bijin (美人) refreshing with a towel, is taken from the famous series “Edo Meisho Bijin Awase” (江戸名所美人合), that is “Famous Views of Edo and Beauties Compared”. In the upper inset cartouche, a view of Tokyo Bay (東京湾) and Atago Shrine (愛宕神社).

Atago Shrine is known for its steep flight of 86 stairs, visible at the top right of the print, dubbed the “stone steps to success” (出世の石段), which owes its nickname to a young ambitious samurai, who dared to ride his horse up and down the stairway winning much praise from the shogun, and that still today attracts many devotees who wish to achieve career advancement and promotion.

The rare woodblock print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right and obvious signs of aging, is in overall good condition.