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Toyohara Chikanobu: Viewing the Waterfall

February 5, 2014

Elegant female beauties stroll through a scenic landscape, pausing to view a waterfall. These sight-seers, their wealth evident in fashionable dress, may be associated with the Tokugawa clan at Edo Castle, where shoguns — heads of Japan’s feudal military government — lived and ruled.

Toyohara Chikanobu, one of the Meiji era’s (1868-1912) most prolific printmakers, often illustrated the activities of noble women. From the series Tokugawa Jidai Kifujin no Zu, or Pictures of Women of the Tokugawa Era, this triptych fondly recalls court life in the Edo or Tokugawa period (1603-1867).

Chikanobu frequently treated the subject of female beauties. Carleton also owns the Jidai Kagami, or Mirror of the Ages, a bound folio of 24 prints depicting beauties through the ages.

Sophie Kissin ’14