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Samurai surimono - limited edition print

Abstract

Original surimono by the celebrated master Utagawa Toyohiro, done c. 1795. Toyohiro was a noted ukiyo-e painter, printmaker and illustrator; had studied under Toyoharu, whose studio he entered in 1782. Surimono were limited edition prints, privately commissioned and published to announce or commemorate a special event. They are therefore quite rare, and, if their condition is good, much higher in value than prints for which there are hundreds of extant copies. They are often richly embossed and/or gilded, as here, where there is gilding on the sword scabbard, and plum blossoms embossed and faintly visible. This example has an unusual horizontal format for a print. Because it was a surimono? There do not appear to be any creases; was it rolled, originally? Subject is a bald samurai with shaved pate and muttonchop whiskers. Wears blue hakama decorated with 20 cranes. Huge sword, with some gilding on the sword scabbard. L. hand holds an oversized square box (for sake?). R. hand is an upraised fist. Presence of cranes (symbols of long life) and plum blossoms (blooming at the time of the lunar New Year, and also symbols of bravery) make this an auspicious image, perhaps associated with the New Year holiday.

Note

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Administrative Notes

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
DePauw University
PID
coccc:24783