Night Rain at the Double-Shelf Stand by Suzuki Harunobu

Night Rain at the Double-Shelf Stand by Suzuki Harunobu
Item# zashiki-hakkei-harunobu
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Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770)

Woodblock Prints Title: Night Rain at the Double-Shelf Stand, from the series Eight Parlor Views (Zashiki hakkei)

1st Publication: 1766

Size: 11 1/4 x 8 in. (28.6 x 20.3 cm)

Date of this edition: 1766

Publisher: Unknown

Condition: Some soiling and rubbing. Vertical crease now flattened. Print is backed on an edo era paper. Unrepaired wormhole in the lower edge. Although faded, very good original colors. Fair to poor overall condition.

Notes: Inscription: Kyosen (the poet) illustrating the poem by him; Seals: Josei Sanjin and Kyosen no in.

This beguiling scene of a girl lulled by the sound of a softly boiling tea cauldron, set on a portable hearth of the type used during the summer, is one of Harunobu’s Eight Parlor Views (Zashiki hakkei). It playfully alludes to “Night Rain,” one of the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers in China, a venerable theme in both Chinese and Japanese painting.

Here the summer mood intrinsic to that landscape is transposed to the interior of an Edo (Tokyo) house of pleasure. Harunobu’s work is distinctive for its subtle tonality, achieved by mixing pigments rather than by superimposing two printed colors.

Pictures: Pictures are taken outdoor, in the shade, to reflect true colors, without any enhancements of any kind. The last picture is taken indoor, with a light behind the print, to reveal the exact paper grain, holes if any, or other possible flaws.


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