Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni II (二代目歌川豊国)

Print: The Sign of the Dragon (辰) from the series Elegant Women Likened to the Twelve Animals of the Zodiac (Fūryū azuma sugata jūnishi - 風流東姿十二支)

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Dates: circa 1828,created
Dimensions: 10.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print
Inscription: Signed: Gosotei Toyokuni ga
Artist's seal: toshidama in red
Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei (Marks 180 - seal 25-363)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna; Ritsumeikan University - in black and white; Lyon Collection - another print from this series, the ram;Lyon Collection - another print from this series, the hare;Lyon Collection - another print from this series, the horse;

Physical description:

There are four prints from this elegant series in the Lyon Collection. The others include women paired with the Zodiac signs for the ram or goat, the horse and the hare. One of the nicer touches is the fact that the title of this series is spelled out in the three toshidama cartouches grouped near the top of each print. Of course, the toshidama is a motif element adopted by many of the members of the Utagawa artists. A symbol of success and wealth, if not of the monetary kind then at least of the artistic or spiritual kind.


Illustrated in color in Golden Age of Japanese Woodprints - 1986-1987 (浮世絵名作展 : フランス巡回記念), #103.