Night Rain at the Double-Shelf Stand, from the series Eight Parlor Views (Zashiki hakkei)
Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print (first edition); ink and colors on paper, medium-sized print (chuban)
11 1/4 x 8 in. (28.6 x 20.3 cm)
The Francis Lathrop Collection, Purchase, Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1911
Not on view
This beguiling scene of a girl lulled by the sound of a softly boiling tea cauldron, set on a portable hearth of the type used during the summer, is one of Harunobu’s Eight Parlor Views (Zashiki hakkei). It playfully alludes to “Night Rain,” one of the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers in China, a venerable theme in both Chinese and Japanese painting. Here the summer mood intrinsic to that landscape is transposed to the interior of an Edo (Tokyo) house of pleasure. Harunobu’s work is distinctive for its subtle tonality, achieved by mixing pigments rather than by superimposing two printed colors.
Inscription: Kyosen (the poet) illustrating the poem by him; Seals: Josei Sanjin and Kyosen no in
Francis Lathrop , Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey (until d. 1909; by descent to family).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Beautiful Country: Yamato-e in Japanese Art," November 20, 2010–June 5, 2011.