Aoi, with Genji crest for chapter 9, “Aoi,” of the Tale of Genji

Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (Japanese, 1786-1864)

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Kneeling at a portable writing table, a young woman holds a poem card in her left hand while resting her cheek on her right. Her stationery stand is beside her on the floor. She appears to be contemplating what to write. The kerchief she wears around her head might be serving to catch her perspiration on a sultry summer’s day.

Her relaxed posture, the flowing lines of her kimono, and the curving tendrils of the decorative pattern combine to evoke an elegantly quiet and contemplative mood.

Purchased in Bloomington, Indiana by Dr. Roger Hurwitz and Francine Hurwitz, Indianapolis; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010 (2010.296).

Object Information

Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (Japanese, 1786-1864)
creation date
1852, 5th month
color woodblock print
9 3/4 x 6 7/8 in. (image & sheet, bled to edge)
mark descriptions
Signed by artist: Toyokuni ga (within a toshidama cartouche)
Censor's seal: Magome and Hama
Date seal: 1852, 5th month
Publisher's mark: Tōkokudō
Inscribed, unread
Unknown. A series based on the Tale of Genji
accession number
credit line
Gift of Francine and Roger Hurwitz
Public Domain
Asian Art

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