Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Eight Views in the Parlour (set of 8)

Size: 32.0cm by 23.0cm (12.60 in by 9.06 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Suzuki Harunobu

Era: Post-war | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 45,000$ 350.00£ 285.00€ 325.00 [Item has been sold]

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Description: The Zashiki Hakkei, as this set of eight prints is called, can be interpreted as the “Eight Scenes of the Japanese Room” depicting scenes of the everyday life of Edo women.

Harunobu used indoor objects to represent a landscape or a seascape, this means that he did “indoor parodies” of an outdoor scenery. For example, in the “Sailing Home” print he used a towel on a stand to represent a sailboat coming home from the sea. In “A Full Autumn Moon on Mirror Stand”, the round mirror stand is likened to a full moon, the pampas grass outside the sliding door is an autumn plant probably representing all the seasonal flora. Also, the pattern of the kimono of the seated woman shows some birds flying over breaking waves.

Two other examples of this kind of dreamy scene are shown in “A Simulated Scene of Evening Snow” where a bride’s veil of white floss silk on a lacquered container represents a snow-capped mountain. And lastly, in “Koto and Wild Geese” the bridges placed under the Koto (horizontal Japanese harp) strings resemble a flock of geese in a single file.

His prints emanate a romantic atmosphere with figures looking like pretty dolls. His aim was not to be realistic and with these “indoor parodies” is as if he wishes to show the outside and the inside at the same time, by taking an outside landscape and putting it inside a room. There is also a note of amusement and humor in transforming an ordinary object into something else, kind of how the fantastic imagination of a child works.

Harunobu worked back when multicolor printing was in its earliest days, in the mid 1700s, and the prints must have made a spectacular effect at the time. In this set, he shows a perfect sense of color harmony and excels in creating a soft poetic touch through the use of neutral and mixed tints.

The displayed dimension is each print size.

We selected the prints and the descriptive sheets from a reproduction set of 12 produced by Takamizawa Company in the post-war period, and stored them in an A3 folder.

Please visit our Collection page where you can see our own preserved copy of this entire set at high-resolution. Also, there are YouTube video that features the series links on the page.

The prints are slightly toned but do not have any great defects except the foxing for "Evening Snow".

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