Polychrome woodblock print; chuban yoko-e; ink and color on paper
H. 8 in. (20.3 cm); W. 12 5/16 in. (31.3 cm)
medium-size print (chu-ban)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
Harunobu's keen interest in translucent objects, such as the mosquito net, was well served by his invention of the polychrome print technique. The new availability of different shades of colors enabled him to show the subtle changes that are necessary to create the look of translucence.
In the horizontal print (yoko-e) depicting lovers parting in the morning, the woman is willingly entangled in the net, reluctant to leave the scene of a tryst. In contrast, the man is outside the net, ready to return to the reality of everyday life. Harunobu deftly uses the mosquito net to illustrate their predicament.