実競色乃美名家見 三浦屋小紫 白井権八 The Lovers Miura-ya Komurasaki and Shirai Gonpachi.
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
15 x 9 15/32 in. (38.1 x 24.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1914
Not on view
Tragic love stories taken from real life and dramatized were a staple of stage and print; the darkly romantic combination of desire and death was hugely popular in the eighteenth century. Hirai Gompachi was a warrior of the Tottori fief in western Japan who fled to Edo after committing a murder. He was apprehended and sentenced to death in 1679. His distraught lover, the courtesan Komurasaki, committed suicide at his grave.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Signature: Utamaro fude
Marking: Seal: kiwame
[ William S. and JohnT. Spaulding , Boston, until 1914; sold to MMA]