Artist: Toyohara Kunichika

Title: Viewing the Cherry Blossoms

Year: 1881

Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper

Gift of Tom Musco

With its large text blocks and bold, Meiji red, this print evinces new attitudes towards classic subject matter. Rising to prominence in the 1860s, Toyohara Kunichika was wildly popular, and the fast pace of his output is evidenced in the sometimes slapdash application of blocks. In this print, part of a series featuring various seasonal flowers juxtaposed with beautiful women, two prostitutes from the Yoshiwara licensed district sit outside admiring the flowering cherry blossom trees. Kunichika is known for utilizing traditional subject matter, particularly prints of japanese “beauties” as well as actor portraits.