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Suzuki Shuitsu, Enjoying the Evening Cool by the Dry Riverbed at Shijō, a hanging scroll painting

  • Detail: signature and seals

    Detail: signature and seals

 

Height: 545.000 mm
Width: 851.000 mm

Asia JA JP 1359 (1881.12-10.02124)

    Suzuki Shuitsu, Enjoying the Evening Cool by the Dry Riverbed at Shijō, a hanging scroll painting

    Japan
    Late Edo period, early 19th century AD

    From early in the Edo period (1600-1868), the dry riverbed of the Kamo River (where it was crossed by the Shijō Avenue) in summer was a popular recreational ground for the townspeople of Kyoto to enjoy the evening cool.

    The sheer energy and bustle of the city and its pleasures had been recorded in great genre screens during the early seventeenth century. This scroll painting presents a much quieter version of the theme. In the foreground can be seen platforms erected in the river shallows, on which people are seated conversing, drinking tea, and smoking. Further back a stage has been set up and an audience watches a Nō play. On another stage beyond this a play or dance skit is taking place. In the far distance a tightrope-walker entertains the gathered spectators. The crowds by the bridge include samurai wearing swords, women in sedge hats, and priests.

    Shuitsu (1823-89) was the eldest son of the successful Rimpa artist Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) who worked in Edo. The styles of clothing in the painting are archaic, recalling the work of Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694), founder of the Ukiyo-e school.

    The signature reads 'Seisei Shuitsu', and the seal reads 'Motoshige'.

    I. Hirayama and T. Kobayashi (eds.), Hizō Nihon bijutsu taikan-2, vol. 3 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1993)

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