VIEW OF KYOTO (Utagawa Kunisada)

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



Elegant polychrome woodblock print of vertical chuban (中判) format made around 1838 by Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞). The work, entitled “View of Kyoto” (京都之圖), is taken from the “Fifty-three stations of the Tokaido” (東海道五十三次之内), a refined series of prints in which the artist depicts the stations of the famous road (in this case the final station) together with bijin (美人) beauties.

The Tokaido (東海道), the “coastal road of the East”, connected Edo (江戸) or today’s Tokyo (東京), the shogun’s capital, with the imperial capital Kyoto (京都). Given the administrative, economic and cultural importance of the two cities, it was, and indeed is still today, the main connecting route of Japan.

The precious xylography on Japanese washi paper (和紙), published by Sanoya Kihei Kikakudo (佐野屋喜兵衛喜鶴堂), despite the evident signs of aging including wrinkles and two small wormholes, one of which has been restored, is in overall fair conditions.