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Beauties of the Latest Fashion Compared with the Beauty of Flowers (Tosei Bijin), from Flower Playing Cards (Hana-awase)

Gosotei Toyokuni II

Asian Art

Toyokuni II, or Utagawa Toyoshige, was a student and adopted son of Utagawa Toyokuni. Toyokuni II’s work strongly resembled that of his teacher, and that similarity, paired with his use of Toyokuni’s name—especially his exact signature—continues to raise questions about the authorship of certain prints. Like the woman in the adjacent image, the subject of this “blue-printed” print wears a kimono printed with bats, an emblem of good luck that appeared often on decorative arts. However, the use of a bat shape for the title cartouche here is highly unusual.
MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES ca. 1830-35
    PERIOD Edo Period
    DIMENSIONS 15 1/4 x 10 1/2 in. (38.7 x 26.7 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher's seal. Censor seal: Kiwame
    SIGNATURE Artist's signature: Toyokuni ga.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 76.151.14
    CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Gosotei Toyokuni II (Japanese, 1802-1835). Beauties of the Latest Fashion Compared with the Beauty of Flowers (Tosei Bijin), from Flower Playing Cards (Hana-awase), ca. 1830-35. Woodblock print, 15 1/4 x 10 1/2 in. (38.7 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 76.151.14
    IMAGE overall, 76.151.14_print_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Woman, dressed in kimono with bat design and obi sash of eggplant and vines, stands before a maiden flower bush with a tobacco pipe in her hand. Condition: Small tear at top left. Needs to be remounted.
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