• “Kyoto Gion Festival and Shijo Kawara (園祭禮四條河原之涼)”, which depicts a night view of Gion Matsuri Festival in Kyoto, is considered to be one of the masterpieces painted by Utagawa Sadahide (歌川貞秀). The painting portrays a large number of people who are enjoying the summer night, drinking tea and watching the performance, while sitting on low wooden benches along the Kamo River (鴨の河原), which is lit with numerous lanterns. In the painting, Shijo-ohasi Bridge (四條大橋) is bustling with crowds and mikoshi, or shrines carried on palanquins, that are heading towards Otabisho (御旅所, a facility that serves as the temporary destination or midway resting point of a ritual procession) from Gion Shrine (祇園社), which is the former name for Yasaka Shrine. In front of the scene, two towering objects are presented: One is naginatahoko (長刀鉾), a long sword intended to ward off evil spirits and prevent plagues, which bears an inscription specifying its craftsman as the renowned swordsmith Sanjo Kokaji Munechika (三條小鍛冶宗近); the other is a crescent-shaped tsukihoko (月鉾), an ornament that symbolizes each hoko (a gigantic wheeled palanquin decorated with spears and swords). The backdrop of this painting displays a panoramic view of mountain peaks including Mt. Hieizan, Mt. Nyoigatake (the main peak of Mt. Higashiyama), and its western peak Mt. Daimonji; Gojo (五條) city to the south; and distant Ohara (大原) village to the north. Specifying the names of temples and areas depicted in it, this is an exuberant, colorful nishiki-e (錦絵, “brocade picture”), a multi-colored woodblock painting, which may also have served as a guide to the landmarks in Kyoto. This early print boasts an excellent composition and color palette, with red lanterns, blue rivers, and lush mountains painted in a pleasing harmony. The bottom part of each painting bears the name of sculptor Koizumi Horikane (小泉彫兼) or simply Horikane, together with the signature seal written “Painted by Gountei Sadahide (五雲亭 貞秀)”. “Fujikei (藤慶)” is the trademark of the publisher Fujiokaya Keijiro (藤岡屋慶次郎), “minikai (未弐改)” means that it received the seal of approval in March 1859. Utagawa Sadahide (歌川貞秀, 1807-1883?) was a ukiyoeshi (浮世繪絵師), or genre painter, who was active from the late Edo shogunate era to the Meiji era as a disciple of Utagawa Kunisada (Utagawa Toyokuni III). He was born in Shimosa Province in 1807, and his real name was Hashimoto Genjiro, while he was also known under the pseudonyms Gountei and Kyokuransai. Besides portraits of actors or bijinga (“paintings of beautiful people”), he is renowned for his detailed nishiki-e, which combined cartographic elements to the bird’s-eye-view paintings of this kind or the so-called “Yokohama Ukiyoe” themed on foreign customs. He left numerous works, yet little is known about his life, including the year of his death. These paintings were compiled in a folded book format, together with “Panoramic View of Ryōgoku Bridge in the Summer (東都兩國橋夏景色)” and “Naniwa Tenma Festival (浪速天滿祭)” that were painted by Utagawa Sadahide around the same period, and its cover carries the title “Painting of Summer Vacation in Three Cities: Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo (三都浪之圖)” written in ink. (rdf:langString) (en)
  • 京都の祇園祭の夜景を描いた「皇都祇園祭禮四條河原之涼」の図は、貞秀の傑作のひとつと言われている。無数の灯りの下、鴨の河原に涼み床を並べ、様々な人々が茶屋や見世物で夏の宵を遊び楽しんでいる。四条大橋の上では祇園の社から御旅所に向かう神輿と、群衆がひしめく。手前には「三條ノ小鍛冶作長刀」と由緒標記を画中に付した疫病邪鬼をはらう長刀鉾や、新月の鉾頭の月鉾が聳えている。背景には比叡山や、大文字の如意ヶ岳をはじめとする東山の連峰が描かれ、南は五条、北は遙か大原の里までパノラマのごとく眼下に広がる。寺院や地名も記されており、都の名所ガイドも兼ねる華やかで賑やかな錦絵である。早期の摺りで、構図、色調ともに優れ、赤い提灯と川面の青、緑の山膚が映え合って美しい。各図の下方に「五雲亭貞秀画」の落款と、「小泉彫兼」あるいは「彫兼」の彫師銘がある。「藤慶」は版元藤岡屋慶次郎の商標印、「未弐改」は安政六年己未歳三月の改印(検印)である。貞秀(1807-83?)は、歌川国貞(三代豊国)の門人で、幕末から明治にかけて活躍した浮世絵師である。文化4年、下総国に生まれた。本名橋本兼次郎。五雲亭、玉蘭斎などとも号した。役者絵や美人画も描いたが、このような鳥瞰図に地図的要素をミックスした細密な錦絵や、外国の風俗を題材としたいわゆる「横浜浮世絵」の名手として知られている。数多くの作品を残すものの、没年をはじめとしてその生涯については未詳の部分が多い。おなじ貞秀がほぼ同時期に描いた「東都両国ばし夏景色」、「浪速天満祭」とともに帖装本に仕立てられており、表紙には「三都涼之図」と後人による墨書の題簽が貼付されている。 (xsd:string)
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