Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: An oiran lighting an andon - from the series Richly Colored Contemporary Fashions (Gokusaishiki jisei shitate - 極彩時世仕立)

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Dates: circa 1819,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock printing

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Publisher: Iseya Rihei (Marks 152 - seal 01-122)
Censor: kiwame

Related links: Kunisada.de - 8 prints from this series; Lyon Collection - another print from this series;

Physical description:

The courtesan, warmly dressed for a winter's day or night, is lighting a floor lamp so she can continue writing a possible love letter. Notice her writing set nearby with its brush, ink, stone. A cup holding water sits atop the lid of her black lacquer box resting on the ground.

The title of the series appears as a label on the outside of a scroll in the upper left. A careful examination of the fabric covering the outside of the scroll shows the toshidama, Kunisada's seal.

One of the more beautiful elements of this beautiful print is the green cord loosely unwound around the title scroll. At the end of the cord is the carved ivory piece used to secure the scroll when tightly closed. A wonderful touch.