EARLY FERNS (Utagawa Kunisada)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1853
Condition: very good
Size: 17,5 x 25 cm



Precious polychrome woodblock print made by the famous artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) and inspired by the forty-eighth chapter, entitled “Early Ferns” (早蕨), of the Genji Monogatari (源氏物語). In the upper right inset we read a poetic composition by Shimoge Hashika Kasumi (下毛葉鹿花好): «Oh, Miyagino / famous for lespedeza. / With the first early ferns / is barely visible / the color of purple» (宮城野や / 萩のゆかりか / 初わらひ / はつかに見ゆる / むらさきの色).

The work was printed in May 1853 by the publisher Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛), owner of Kikakudo (喜鶴堂), and it is taken from the series “The Color Print Contest of a Modern Genji” (今源氏錦絵合).

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