|Artist||Utagawa Kunisada II (Toyokuni IV) (1823-1880)|
|Published||1867 (Hare 11, Aratame)|
|Dimensions||Vertical ôban triptych [Each sheet ~15.6 x 10.7 inches]|
Signature: Kunisada hitsu on two sheets and Utagawa funahito Gototei Kunisada hitsu on an other.
The Genji monogatari , or The Tale of Genji, was an eleventh-century courtly romance considered one of the earliest and most important novels in world history. Written around 1011 by Murasaki Shikibu, the daughter of a regional governor, it traces, through a series of loosely connected stories, the tangled private life of the son of an emperor, Hikaru Genji, and his progeny.
Utagawa Kunisada II (Toyokuni IV) (1823-1880) was a Japanese ukiyo-e printmaker, and one of three to take the name 'Utagawa Kunisada.'A pupil of Utagawa Kunisada I, he signed much of his early work 'Baido Kunimasa III.' He took the name Kunisada after marrying his master's eldest daughter in 1846. He changed his name once more following his master's death, to Toyokuni III. However, since there were three artists called Toyokuni before him, Kunisada II is now often known as Toyokuni IV. Kunisada II is renowned for his prints. His favourite subjects were pleasure-houses and tea ceremonies. These themes are sometimes found together in some of his prints, as geishas usually acted as chaperones at tea-houses.