SHRINE MAIDEN AT MIYA (Utagawa Kunisada)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1838 ca.
Condition: good
Size: 18,5 x 26 cm



Refined polychrome woodblock print made around 1838 by Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) and depicting, in the foreground, a miko (巫女) Shinto priestess or a so-called “shrine maiden” and, behind her, the Shichiri “seven leagues” ferries (七里の渡舟) approaching the torii (鳥居) portal, just visible at the top left, on the quay of the Atsuta Shrine (熱田神宮).

The work, of vertical chuban (中判) format, is entitled “View of Miya” (宮之図) and is taken from the “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road” (東海道五十三次之内), an interesting series in which the artist pairs bijin (美人) beauties depicted in the foreground with, in the background, landscapes taken in most cases from the homonymous and famous series by Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced by the publishers Moriya Jihei (森屋冶兵衛), owner of Kinshindo (錦森堂), and Sanoya Kihei (佐野屋喜兵衛), owner of Kikakudo (喜鶴堂), despite the right signs of aging and the presence of a restored wormhole on the left margin, is in overall good condition.