Dreaming of Walking near Fuji

Artist: Isoda Koryūsai 磯田湖竜斎 (1735-1790)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1770-73
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 19.1 x 25.4 cm (7 1/2 x 10 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, dreaming, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Mount Fuji, sleeping, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Dreams about Mount Fuji, a falcon, and eggplants were thought to be auspicious beginnings for the New Year. The "first dream" (hatsuyume) is shown in a balloon emanating from the hearts of the young lovers who have fallen asleep over a board for playing suguroku, a game similar to backgammon. This print was the frontispiece for an album of erotic images (shunga) that were profitable for publishers but were likely to attract unwanted attention from the Tokugawa shogun's government officials who were charged with enforcing moral standards. Covers for sets of erotic prints were more discreet than the contents, and the artists and publishers did not identify themselves by name. The artist Koryvsai began as a pupil of Harunobu, whose elegant style is apparent in this print made just after Harunobu's death. Later prints by Koryvsai establish a distinct personal style.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 110, pp. 274-275.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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