Utagawa Toyokuni II (二代目歌川豊国)
(artist 1777 – 1835)
Utagawa Kunihiro (歌川国広)
Dragon (Tatsu 竜) from the series Elegant Women Likened to the Twelve Animals of the Zodiac (Fūryū azuma-sugata jūnishi - 風流東姿十二支)
10.25 in x 15 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Gosotei Toyokuni ga
Inset: Utagawa Kunihiro (歌川國弘)
Artist's seal: toshidama (in red)
Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei (Marks 180 - seal 25-363)
Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna
Ritsumeikan University - black and white only
Lyon Collection - another print from this series - the hare 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.
The inset of the dragon was designed by Utagawa Kunihiro (歌川國弘).
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.
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)
Izumiya Ichibei (和泉屋市兵衛) (publisher)
mitate-e (見立て絵) (genre)
Jūnishi (十二支 - 12 signs of the Zodiac) (genre)