View full screen - View 1 of Lot 1. Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) Osen and a young samurai, Edo period, late 18th century .
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Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) Osen and a young samurai, Edo period, late 18th century

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Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) Osen and a young samurai, Edo period, late 18th century

Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) Osen and a young samurai, Edo period, late 18th century

Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770) 

Osen and a young samurai

Edo period, late 18th century


woodblock print, signed Suzuki Harunobu ga, circa 1768-70

Hashira-e:

69.2 x 10.7 cm. 

Good impression, fair colour, with some areas of re-touching in particular to the black, some restoration to the black area beside the kimono in the lower half of the print and to the clouds at the top, and an area of restoration around the bottom character and left-hand corner, there are some other small areas of patching, horizontal fold across the top and to the bottom, some glue and paper residue to verso.


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The paulownia crest on the robe of the young woman reveals her to be Osen (1751-1827), a muse of Harunobu's in his older age. Osen was the proprietress of a teashop near the Kasamori Shrine in Edo, her beauty capturing the interest of suitors who came to visit her for her famed looks. The young couple appear in another design by Harunobu, often titled Osen's Teashop (Osen chaya), to which scholars have identified the hooded samurai as the actor Segawa Kikunoju (1751-1810), renowned for his female onnagata roles.11. Timon Screech, "Ukiyo-e Artists and the City" in The Artist in Edo, ed. Yukio Lippit, (Washington, 2018), p. 123.