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Must See: Important Shunga Booklet Set by Suzuki Harunobu

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This erotic booklet set entitled ‘Enshoku Tamatsubaki‘ (c.1760) by the great ukiyo-e innovator Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) shows a lot of designs that were decisive to the artist’s later shunga work and to his pupil Isoda Koryusai (1735-1790). Ingenious Way Harunobu uses the long narrow format of the designs in an ingenious way, often connecting the illustrated pages. The […]

Who Were the Favorite Beauties of Suzuki Harunobu?

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Who Were the Favorite Beauties of Suzuki Harunobu?

This the first plate of Harunobu’s famous The Lusty Maneemon series (c.1768) introducing the character Maneemon who plays a central role in all 24 designs. Here he is seen in a kneeling pose, before his transformation, while two beauties standing on a white cloud descend from heaven floating in front of him. Magic Brew The […]

Harunobu’s Jealous Geisha with Snowball

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Harunobu’s Jealous Geisha with Snowball

A masterful image in which Harunobu seizes a moment of climactic tension when a jealous woman who spies on two lovers prepares to ruin their joy by slinging a snowball through the window. Betrayal We can assume that she is a geisha and the man is a regular client who is betraying their relationship by […]

Harunobu and His Sensual Sail Analogy

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Harunobu and His Sensual Sail Analogy

In this masterful design the ukiyo-e artist extraordinaire Suzuki Harunobu (d.1770) replaces the billowing sail of a ship with a towel that moves by the breeze. A young girl plucks hairs from the beard of a middle-aged man. She wears a robe with long, hanging sleeves. He gently holds her shoulder while kissing her on […]

Suzuki Harunobu: The Transition to Multi-Colour Printing

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Suzuki Harunobu: The Transition to Multi-Colour Printing

Suzuki Harunobu (1725?-70) is often cited as one of the great ukiyo-e print artists, but the magnitude of his reputation as an artist is not matched by the depth of information about the man himself. His death date is one of the few certainties; he died in 1770, perhaps at the age of forty-five. He […]

The Rocky Spring of Western Culture in Works by François Boucher

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Western » The Rocky Spring of Western Culture in Works by François Boucher

Today we’ll look at several paintings by François Boucher (1703-1770), who was the most eminent exponent of the rococo (‘rocky’) style in Europe. Lots of significant European museums have his colorful pastoral works in their collections. Savor of Antiquity Rococo is famous for its’ sensuality and a savor of antiquity. It flourished in Western arts in […]

A Sambasō Dancer and Lover Rolling Through the Room

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » A Sambasō Dancer and Lover Rolling Through the Room

A energetic image, which transfers the impression of actually seeing the couple tumbling and rolling through the room. Sambaso dancer The man is dressed as a sambasō dancer, perhaps to heighten the sexual tension, Sambasō dances were performed as a prelude to the main plays in Nō and Kabuki theaters, and the dancers were dressed as Okina, […]

Three Influential Designs from Twelve Bouts on the Way of Sensuality

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Three Influential Designs from Twelve Bouts on the Way of Sensuality

Koryusai’s large oban series ‘Twelve Bouts on the Way of Sensuality‘ (c.1775-77) is famous for its designs in which the figures almost fill the entire image and the introduction of the portrayal of larger genitalia. Bolder In comparison with earlier Koryusai series the figures are bolder and more robust and the size of their bodies […]

Copulating Couple Hidden Behind a Tsuitate by Koryusai

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Copulating Couple Hidden Behind a Tsuitate by Koryusai

In the penultimate eleventh plate from Isoda Koryusai’s oban-sized album ‘Shikido torikumi juniban ( Twelve Bouts on the Way of Sensuality),’* we watch a couple in an intimate embrace on a futon. Tsuitate The woman’s obi** is hanging casually over a tsuitate***, that is decorated with a design of cranes, a common motif in Japanese art. […]

Tsukioka Settei: The Shunga Magician From Osaka

https://shungagallery.com » Classical Shunga » Tsukioka Settei: The Shunga Magician From Osaka

Tsukioka Settei (1726-1787) was an artist who lived and worked mainly in Osaka. Together with Sukenobu he is considered to be the leading artist of the Floating World in Kamigata, a region that included Kyoto and Osaka. Settei had a classical training at the Kano school and was partly influenced by Moronobu’s style. Magical Panacea […]

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