Original Chikanobu (1838 - 1912) Japanese Woodblock Print
Depiction of an Official Hearing at Fukiage
Series; Chiyoda Outer Palace (Chiyoda no on-omote)
Chiyoda Outer Palace - Following his successful "Chiyoda Inner Palace" series, Chikanobu designed a second triptych series first published in 1897 illustrating the "Chiyoda Outer Palace" (Chiyoda no on-omote), the domain of the shogun and his retainers at Edo Castle, also known as Chiyoda Castle. The men are depicted taking part in sporting and hunting activities, martial arts, annual ceremonies, and traditional rituals. The Outer Palace series was smaller than the Inner Palace series, with 32 triptychs instead of 40, and these designs are seen much less often. Chikanobu's characteristic attention to detail highlights the clothing and accessories worn by the samurai, as well as the indoor and outdoor settings. Many designs include deluxe printing techniques such and embossing and burnishing. The handsome "Chiyoda Outer Palace" series provides a wonderful look at life inside the Shogun's castle prior to the Meiji Restoration.
Depiction of an Official Hearing at Fukiage - Lovely triptych by Chikanobu depicting two high-ranking courtesans kneeling before an official, seated on a verandah with his retainers at Fukiage, a compound in the private section of Edo Castle. The beauty in the center wears a magnificent red outer kimono patterned with a crane above crashing waves, her black obi featuring a fierce dragon. She kneels on a tatami mat atop the rocky surface of the ground as she presents her case during the hearing. An incredible print, with fine detail in the elegant fabrics, including delicate embossing on the white kimono trim and crane's feathers, and burnishing on the black obi and the black areas on the kimono. A fantastic scene from courtly life, and a rarely seen subject from the series.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 28 1/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. A few small tears at edges, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, slight wrinkling at side. Please see photos for details.