Young Girl Crossing a Bridge on a Windy Day; Calendar Print: Parody of "Crossing at the Sano Ford" (Hashi wo wataru musume: Egoyomi, Mitate Sano no watari)Artist(s)Suzuki HarunobuObject Creation Date1765Medium & Supportcolor woodblock print (nishiki e) on paper, medium-size (chûban)Dimensions
11 3/16 in. x 8 1/16 in. ( 28.4 cm x 20.5 cm )Credit LineBequest of Margaret Watson ParkerLabel copy
Full-color printing emerged in Japan only in 1765, when a wealthy group of patrons in Edo commissioned Suzuki Harunobu to design a limited edition of deluxe prints. Intended as New Year’s greetings, these privately published prints contained "hidden" clues to the calendar for the coming year.
The calendar prints were so popular that a second edition was printed for commercial distribution. This print comes from the later edition, which retains the technical innovations of the first: cherry-wood blocks have replaced softer catalpa wood; a thicker, hard-surfaced paper retains the impression of blind printing; and up to ten blocks are used for a new palette of vegetable colors. Full-color printing became the norm from this point forward, and such prints are known as nishiki e, or "brocade prints."
Harunobu became famous for his renderings of willowy young girls, vulnerable if not quite fragile. Like the Kyoto artist Nishikawa Sukenobu (whose designs he often plagiarized), Harunobu drew his subjects from everyday life rather than from the theatre and pleasure quarters. Harunobu was also fond of visual puns in his work. Here the pose of the girl on the bridge is taken directly from a well-known type illustrating a classical poem. In the model, a male courtier is shown fording a river on horseback; to shield himself from the falling snow, he tosses one arm over his head.
"Courtesans, Cross-Dressers, and the Girl Next Door Images of the Feminine in Japanese Popular Prints"
3/9 - 9/1/02Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typecolor printCollection AreaAsianRights
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