A Man Meets a Former Sweetheart, Now Serving in a Provincial Household, c. 1772
From the series “Fashionable Color Prints of the Tales of Ise.” Signed on block lower right: “Shunsho ga”; poem describing the scene inscribed on block upper center. A fine impression in fine condition aside from an area of thinness in top right corner, with no margins.
“The original ‘Tales of Ise’ is a collection of something over one hundred brief narrative episodes, each serving to frame one or more classical poems. It is generally believed to have been composed in the tenth century…Though ‘Tales of Ise’ had been issued in many black-and-white illustrated versions during the Edo period, beginning with the luxurioius Saga-bon woodblock-printed edition of 1608, Shunsho was the first artist to design Ise prints using the new full-color print technology adopted by commercial publishers after 1765. His designs are courtly in mood and clearly influenced by earlier Tosa painting styles but have a vigor and charm uniquely his own, which point toward his later great achievements as a book illustrator and painter of women.” (Timothy T. Clark and Osamu Ueda. “The Actor’s Image: Print Makers of the Katsukawa School.” Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago.)