N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1869
Condition: good
Size: 71 x 35 cm



Magnificent triptych of woodblock prints made by the artist Utagawa Kunisada II (二代目歌川国貞) and depicting three geisha (芸者) from the Yanagibashi (柳橋) district who, with their art, enliven a dinner on a terrace overlooking the Sumida River (隅田川). The three women, from right to left, are called Shizu (しづ), Yatsuko (やつこ) and Komine (小みね). In the background, the full moon illuminates many yanebune (屋根船) pleasure boats and, on the right, the famous Ryogoku bridge (両国橋).

The work was produced in July 1869 by the publisher Tsujiokaya Bunsuke (辻岡屋文助), owner of Kinshodo (金松堂), and is titled “The Three Evening Pleasures: the Breeze, the Willows and the Moon” (風柳月三夕), a title that alludes to the Japanese poetic tradition and describes the pleasantness of summer nights on the banks of the river, where you could enjoy the cool of the evening but also the “willows”, a symbol of geisha but also a reference to the aforementioned Yanagibashi district, whose name means precisely the “Willow Bridge”.

The prints, of large vertical oban (大判) format, are overall in good condition, despite the right signs of aging and in particular slight stains, a wrinkling of the paper in the lower part of the right panel, as well as conspicuous traces of relining on the back.