SUMMER DOWNPOUR (Toyohara Chikanobu)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1890 ca.
Condition: very good
Size: 25 x 37 cm



Fascinating woodblock print inspired by the classic text of the Confucian tradition entitled “The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars” (二十四孝), written by Guo Jujing (郭居敬) during the period of the Yuan dynasty (元朝). In the inset at the top right we see Wang Pou (王裒), Japanese name Oho (王褒), a son so diligent in reassuring his mother, who when she was alive was afraid of the sound of thunder, that even after the death of the woman continued to go to her tomb, on the occasion of every storm, to console her spirit.

By contrast, Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延) depicts a modern woman in the foreground, surprised by a summer downpour and not at all worried by thunder. To emphasize the contemporary setting, the artist also includes in the work a rickshaw (人力車), a means of transport considered innovative in late 19th century Tokyo.

The work, taken from the series “Collection of Twenty-four Exemplary Images of Filial Piety” (二十四孝見立画合) and printed around 1890 by the publisher Hasegawa Tsunejiro (長谷川常治郎) and by the engraver Hori Asa (彫朝), despite the right patina of time and some tiny holes in the upper part, is in very good condition.