THE COLOR OF FLOWERS (Toyohara Chikanobu)

N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1881
Condition: good
Size: 72,5 x 36,5 cm



The emperor Meiji (明治天皇) and the empress consort Shoken (昭憲皇后), visible on the right panel in the company of some court ladies, observe a shirabyoshi (白拍子) dancer who, in a splendid floral frame, performs on the notes of a female ensemble of six musicians intent on playing, from left, a biwa (琵琶) lute, a sho (笙) mouth organ, a kakko (羯鼓) double-headed drum, a yokobue (横笛) transverse flute, a large tsuridaiko (釣太鼓) drum and an haisho (排簫) Pan flute.

The imperial couple, protagonist of the modernization of Japan, is portrayed by the artist, Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延), in such a circumstance with the intent to underline the support of the rulers to the oldest traditions of a nation committed, at the same time, to chasing a modernity from which it was ousted during the centuries of the Tokugawa period (徳川時代).

The precious triptych, printed in 1881 by the publisher Urano Asaemon (浦野浅右衛門) and entitled “The Dance of the Color of Flowers” (芲の色調の一ふし), despite the right signs of aging is in good general condition.