THE MONTH OF LEAVES (Utagawa Yoshiiku)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1869
Condition: good
Size: 24 x 35 cm



Valuable polychrome woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format made by Utagawa Yoshiiku (歌川芳幾), the famous artist also known as Ochiai Yoshiiku (落合芳幾), and depicting the courtesan Shizuka (しづか), of the house of pleasure Matsumotoro (松本楼), together with her young kamuro (禿) assistant. The couple is escorted by a kanabohiki (金棒引き) watchman holding a lantern and a metal rod with rings to make noise and alert the crowd.

The work, produced in August 1869 by the publisher Tsunajima Kamekichi (綱島亀吉), is taken from the “Twelve Months of Yoshiwara” (よし原十二ヶ月のうち), an elegant series of prints dedicated to the famous red light district of Edo (江戸), and is paired with the “month of leaves” Hazuki (葉月), that is August.

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