Trees that Bring Wealth and Prosperity: Beauty

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1845
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 36.2 x 24.7 cm (14 1/4 x 9 3/4 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, mirror, oban, poems, ukiyo-e, woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

From a series linking various wifely virtues to trees that bring wealth and prosperity, this print by Hiroshige-an artist best known for his landscape series-portrays a young woman admiring herself in a mirror. She is shown from the rear, a view that displays with erotic suggestion the graceful curve of her neck, soft arms, and slender fingers. The wifely virtues praised here are cleanliness and good grooming. The poem underscores this theme:

The mirror captures me
in the very lap of luxury,
amidst gorgeous flowers.

Translation of poem by John T. Carpenter

Published References
  • At the Museums. vol. XLIX, no. 1, 2003. p. 71.
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 115, pp. 284-285.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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