• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2266

    Japanese and Korean Art

    17 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 32

    Hishikawa Moronobu (1630/31?-1694)

    Beauty turning her head, c. 1690

    Price Realised  

    Hishikawa Moronobu (1630/31?-1694)
    Beauty turning her head, c. 1690
    Signed Yamatoe Hishikawa Moronobu zu, sealed Hishikawa and Moronobu
    Hanging scroll; ink, color, silver and gold on silk
    27 x 10in. (70.6 x 26.5cm.)


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    This painting belongs to a tradition of single-figure painting, which started in the 1660s and continued throughout the history of ukiyo-e. Hishikawa Moronobu was a prolific artist, but his paintings are rare. This barefoot beauty wears a magnificent long-sleeved, green outer robe with a design of cherry blossoms. She lifts her robe with her right hand and touches her collar with her left--a coquettish posture intended to attract a male gaze. Her undergarment was painted with silver pigment, now tarnished to black.

    Moronobu's Edocentric style, choice of subjects and array of techniques and formats influenced all later artists of ukiyo-e. Building on his success as a book illustrator, as most ukiyo-e artists began their careers, he established himself as a painter and opened his own studio close to the theater district and the publishers of his books and sheet prints in downtown Edo. Moronobu's books, prints and paintings catered to all groups, but his luxurious paintings went to affluent cognoscenti--most samurai--of the pleasure quarter of around 1690.

    Exhibited

    Hishikawa Moronobu Memorial, Awa-gun, Chiba, "Hishikawa Moronobu sanbyakunen kenshosai: Kinen tokubetsuten Hishikawa Moronobu meisakuten" (300-year anniversary of Hishikawa Moronobu's death: Special exhibition of masterpieces by Hishikawa Moronobu), 1993.6.4--24

    Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo, "Sanbyakunen kinen ukiyoe tanjo - Hishikawa Moronobu ten" (300-year anniversary of the birth of ukiyo-e: Hishikawa Moronobu exhibition), 1994.2.15--3.21

    Kushigata Shunsen Museum, Kushigatacho, Yamanashi, "Ukiyoe no hana - Kenrantaru nikuhitsu ukiyoe no sekai: Nikuhitsu ukiyoe meisakuten" (The flowers of ukiyo-e: The gorgeous world of ukiyo-e paintings), 1995.4.29--6.25

    "Genroku ryoran ten" (Exhibition of the blossoming Genroku era), shown at the following venues:
    Edo-Tokyo Museum, 1999.1.26--3.22
    Okazaki Mindscape Museum, Okazaki City, 1999.4.3--5.9
    Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, Himeji, 1999.9.23--11.7

    Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, "Images du Monde Flottant: Peintures et estampes japonaises XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles" (Images of the floating world: Japanese paintings and prints of the 17th-18th centuries), 2004.9.27--2005.1.3

    Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin-Dahlem, "Schönheit und Eros: Bilder der Fliessenden Welt von Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro und anderen aus der Sammlung Sumisho, Tokyo," 2008.10.17--2009.1.4

    PUBLISHED:
    Hishikawa Moronobu Memorial, ed., Hishikawa Moronobu sanbyakunen kenshosai: Kinen tokubetsuten Hishikawa Moronobu meisakuten (300- year anniversary of Hishikawa Moronobu's death: Special exhibition of masterpieces by Hishikawa Moronobu) (Awa: Hishikawa Moronobu Memorial, 1993), no. 16.

    Suntory Museum of Art, ed., Sanbyakunen kinen ukiyoe tanjo - Hishikawa Moronobu ten (300-year anniversary of the birth of ukiyo-e: Hishikawa Moronobu exhibition) (Tokyo: Suntory Museum of Art, 1994), pl. 9.

    Sadamura Tadashi, ed., Ukiyoe no hana - Kenrantaru nikuhitsu ukiyoe no sekai: Nikuhitsu ukiyoe meisakuten (The flowers of ukiyo-e: The gorgeous world of ukiyo-e paintings) (Tokyo: Bun'yusha, 1995), pl. 12.

    Kobayashi Tadashi, ed., Azabu bijutsu kogeikan (Azabu Museum of Arts and Crafts), vol. 6 of Nikuhitsu ukiyoe taikan/Ukiyo-e paintings in Japanese Collections (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1995), p. 197.

    Wakakuwa Midori, Kakusareta shisen - Ukiyoe/yoga no josei rataizo (Hidden line of vision: The female nude in ukiyo-e and Yoga), Iwanami kindai no bijutsu, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1997), pl. 7.

    Genroku ryoran ten zuroku henshu iinkai, ed., Genroku ryoran ten (Exhibition of the blossoming Genroku era) (Tokyo: NHK & NHK Promotions, 1999), p. 84, pl. 21.

    Helène Bayou et al., eds., Images du Monde Flottant: Peintures et estampes japonaises XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles (Images of the floating world: Japanese paintings and prints of the 17th-18th centuries) (Paris: Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux Paris, 2004), pl. 33.