An image of Garden in snow

Utagawa Kunisada

(Japan 1786 – 1865)

Hiroshige Andô/Utagawa

(Japan 1797 – 1858)

Garden in snow

Other titles:
"Yuki no niwa" (Garden scene in snow)
Not on display
Further information

This fine triptych depicts Prince Genji and Lady Asagao watching three young girls making a snow rabbit on a moonlit winter’s night. The scene illustrates the chapter “Asagao” from the most famous novel of Japanese literature,'The Tale of Genji', written by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century.

This triptych is a cooperative work by the two most prolific 'ukiyo-e' artists of the day, Utagawa Kunisada I and Andô Hiroshige I: Kunisada was responsible for the figures while Hiroshige was in charge for the background landscape. Kunisada was the protagonist in the production of 'Genji-e', having illustrated hundreds of volumes of woodblock printed books and designed countless series of single prints, but joint works with Hiroshige were rather few in number. This triptych belongs to a small group of such cooperative works, of which today only a handful are extant.

"Genji pictures" ('Genji-e') became very fashionable after the publication of Ryûtei Tanehiko's novel "Nise Murasaki Inaka Genji" (published as series between 1828 to 1842) - a parody of the classical tale set in the Muromachi period, and the subsequent adaptations as Kabuki plays.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2007.

Place of origin
Japan: Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615–1868
triptych; colour woodblock print
a - right image - three people and rabbit snow sculpture, 36.4 x 25 cm
b - centre image - lantern, bridge and snow, 36 x 25.6 cm
c - left image - two people and building, 36.1 x 25.6 cm
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2007
Accession number