GENSO AND YOKIHI PLAYING THE FLUTE (Utagawa Yoshitora)

N.1 abuna-e woodblock print
Year: 1834
Condition: signs of aging
Size: 28 x 22 cm

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Description

The Chinese beauty Yokihi (楊貴妃), consort of the Emperor Genso (玄宗皇帝), was supposedly so charming that she caused him to neglect his duties and led to the downfall of his reign. Here the elderly emperor and his young consort play the flute as one, displaying their romantic attachment.

The precious woodblock printed double-page illustration is taken from vol. 1 (上) of the erotic book “Kaichu Nenju Gyoji” (開註年中行誌), literally “Annual Events of the Vagina”, illustrated by the artist Mutagawa Adatora (夢多川仇虎), pseudonym of Utagawa Yoshitora (歌川芳虎), and made in collaboration with the writer Yabo Sanjin (野暮山人), pseudonym of Kanagaki Robun (仮名垣魯文).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced in 1834 by the publisher Shunjoken (春情軒), shows evident signs of aging and, in particular, woodworm holes.