Original Chikanobu (1838 - 1912) Japanese Woodblock Print
Tea Ceremony with Flower Arranging in Turn
Series; Chiyoda Inner Palace (Chiyoda no Ooku)
Chiyoda Inner Palace - First published from 1894 - 1897, Chikanobu's "Chiyoda Inner Palace" (Chiyoda no Ooku) series depicts the lives of women in Edo Castle prior to the Meiji Restoration, when it was home to the shogun and his court. Edo Castle was also known as Chiyoda Castle, and the series includes 40 triptychs. The Inner Palace area housed the shogun's wife and unmarried daughters, his male heir, and many ladies-in-waiting and servants. These lovely triptychs illustrate seasonal activities both inside and outside of the women's private quarters, and a variety of ceremonies, rituals, and pastimes. The beauties are elegantly attired as they go about their daily lives, with wonderful attention and detail given to their sumptuous kimono and obi fabrics. Many designs include deluxe printing techniques such as burnishing, embossing, and mica or metallic pigment. Chikanobu's lovely "Chiyoda Inner Palace" series beautifully captures the world of upper-class women in mid-nineteenth century Japan.
Tea Ceremony with Flower Arranging in Turn - Every year in the early spring, inner palace guests participated in various activities. Here, women have gathered before a tea ceremony for a flower arranging contest where the participants must quickly choose stems and create an arrangement appropriate to the occasion. The beauty at left uses a pair of scissors to trim a stem, concentrating on her work as the other women sit quietly watching, their hands folded in their laps. Lovely color and detail in the elegant kimono fabrics and interior furnishings, including silver mica on the wave design of the screen panels lining the room. Detailed with embossing in the white kimono trim and touches of burnishing. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection. A wonderful view of life in the inner palace in the Edo era.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 27 3/4" x 13 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - With excellent color and detail. Thee panels, attached. Some light spotting. Please see photos for details. Good overall.