The Seventh Month -Evening Send-Off

The Seventh Month -Evening Send-Off

Object Title:

The Seventh Month -Evening Send-Off

Series Title:

Twelve Months in the South

Date:

1784

Artist:

Torii Kiyonaga

Publisher:

Unknown (Japanese Art)

Medium:

Color woodblock print Technique: Nishiki-e (Woodblock print with color blocks)

Credit Line:

Gift of James A. Michener, 1991 (24452)

Object Number:

24452

Other Title:

Kanji : 七月 夜送り Series Kanji : 美南見十二候

Description:

Torii Kiyonaga was an ukiyo-e artist who specialized in bijinga (pictures of beautiful women). His women typically are tall and slender with idealized proportions, as seen in this print. The South in the series title, Twelve Months in the South (Minami Jünikö) indicates an unofficial pleasure quarter of Shinagawa in the southern suburbs of Edo (modern Tokyo). The publisher originally planned to produce a series depicting different places for each month. However, prints were only published up to the seventh month before the series was cancelled, probably due to budgetary constraints. Each print was made from several different color blocks with beautiful patterns. This is the only month from this rare series in the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ collection. The background was printed in gradations of black to depict an impressionistic night scene. The tall man on the left (identifiable by the sword tucked in his sash) probably is a guest being sent off by the geisha in the corresponding position on the right, while other women surround them, including two carrying lanterns on either end of the group. Kiyonaga skillfully uses the diptych format (for which he was famous), together with a clearly arranged and balanced composition, to suggest a romantic evening encounter between the couple. “Midsummer Night’s Pleasure” 08/05/2010-10/10/20100 *************************