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Discover These Two Varying Impressions of Kunisada's Famous Rain Scene

Nowadays one of Kunisada’s most admired works Shunka Shuto shiki no nagame (Spring, Summer, Autum and Winter: Prospects for the Four Seasons) is a superbly printed production, and because of the high costs involved it was most probably commissioned by a wealthy merchant.

rain ukiyo-e

Fig.1. ‘Geisha and client on a balcony in the rain‘ (c.1827-29) from the series ‘Shunka Shuto shiki no nagame (Spring, Summer, Autum and Winter: Prospects for the Four Seasons)‘ by Utagawa Kunisada

With and Without Rain

Because of its popularity, this book series was issued several times between 1827-29, and therefore several deviating impressions were produced with varying accents and color pigments. An excellent example of this is the famous scene depicted below, with one impression displaying the rain and an earlier one (first impression) without. It would be interesting to know if Kunisada opted these variations or that it was the decision of the printer.


In summer a geisha and her lover are enjoying an assignation in the upper floor of a tea-house. Attracted, and perhaps aroused, by the power of the thunderstorm outside, they have moved on to the balcony to enjoy passionate love-making.

rain ukiyo-e

Fig.2. First impression without rain (c.1827)

Intent Gaze

He grabs her tightly around the waist, and although his face is almost hidden, sexual desire can be read clearly in his intent gaze. A powerful dynamic is created by the criss-crossing vertical and diagonal lines of the composition.

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Both impressions are available in our gallery shop. You can find them by clicking any of the above images..!!

Which of the two impressions do you prefer?

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