Toyokuni II: Fifty-Four Scenes from the Tales of Genji, Vol. 22
三代歌川豐國 Utagawa Toyokuni III（1786-1865）
Fifty-Four Scenes from the Tales of Genji, Vol. 22
木版画 | 双幅续绘-纵绘大判｜36.5cm x 50cm
Woodblock-print | Diptych-Oban tata-e | 36.5cm x 50cm
The Tale of Genji, written by Lady Murasaki in the 11th Century, is considered the first true novel, and its lure and appeal have remained strong in Japan and around the world for one thousand years. It chronicles the adventures of the young prince Genji in the Emperor's court in Kyoto. In Edo times, there was a craze for woodblock prints depicting the story -- including updates and invented sequels -- in what was then modern dress. And perhaps the greatest of these was Toyokuni III's luxurious, late-career masterpiece, Lasting Impressions of a Late Genji Collection. It was inspired by A Rustic Genji by a Fraudulent Murasaki by Ryutei Tanehiko, which was issued between 1829-42 and was hugely popular.
Toyokuni III -- who had changed his name from Kunisada following his master Toyokuni's death -- was perhaps the foremost Ukiyo-e chronicler of the Genji tale, having produced dozens of woodblock prints devoted to it. But this series was something else. It was meant to be his grand Genji finale. In all, he produced 38 diptychs for four different publishers chronicling the tale and scenes from sequels. These designs were executed to the highest standard of the woodblock maker's art, with high-quality printing, embossing, heavy paper, considerable and intricate bokashi, and many other fine details. Look at the wonderful golden cubes floating in the air in the backrounds. These marvelous designs are truly spectacular to behold.
Slight backing; great condition