Beauties of the Seasons—Winter

Maker(s)
Artist: Isoda Koryūsai 磯田湖竜斎 (1735-1790)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1772-80
School
Ukiyo-e School
Medium
Color and gold on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 106.3 × 48.3 cm (41 7/8 × 19 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1902.39
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono, snow, ukiyo-e, winter, woman
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Comparatively little is known about Koryusai. Various sources suggest that he was once a samurai in the service of the Tsuchiya domain (present-day Hitachi, north of Tokyo), or that his father held such a post. As an artist and designer, Koryusai enjoyed the tutelage of the very popular Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770) and for a time used the studio name of Haruhiro, apparently given to him by Harunobu. During the decade of the 1770s, Koryursai produced highly regarded "beauty" prints as well as bird-and-flower prints, which often favored a long, narrow format.
In these paintings, perhaps once part of a larger four-painting ensemble, Koryusai reveals himself to be a master of atmospheric evocation. His mature style, notable in the skillful depiction of worldly and sometimes churlish women, departs from the innocent beauties of the Harunobu style. The representation of the moods of the two women seen here is elaborated by the surrounding context of nature. The woman in this winter scene is bundled and pensive, a sense reinforced by the soft, steady, and all-pervasive snow.
See F1902.38 for Koryusai's Beauties of the Season-Summer.

Published References
  • Harold P. Stern. Ukiyo-e Painting: Freer Gallery of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington and Baltimore, 1973. cat. 56, pp. 146-147.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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