The Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin) Representing the Five Festivals (Gosekku)

寄せ書 七福神の五節句

Japanese
Edo period
about 1832–33 (Tenpô 3–4)
Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861), Artist Utagawa Toyotoshi (Japanese, active 1820s–30s), Artist Utagawa Toyokuni II (Toyoshige) (Japanese, about 1802–1835), Artist Utagawa Kunimitsu I (Japanese, active 1800s–early 1830s), Artist Utagawa Kunitomo I (Japanese, active 1810s–40s), Artist Utagawa Kunitsugu (Japanese, 1800–61), Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864)


Catalogue Raisonné

Suzuki et al., Utagawa Kuniyoshi ten (1996), #222

Dimensions

Horizontal double ôban; 38.1 x 51.6 cm (15 x 20 5/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.26642

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

Described in the 1996 exh. cat. as a surimono, but this impression includes the mark of the publisher. Possibly commissioned by a fan of Kuniyoshi, since his work is especially prominent. The Seven Gods of Good Fortune (plus two karako, Chinese children) are aranged in five vignettes representing the Five Festivals, with the figures drawn by ten different Utagawa-school artists, as follows.
New Year (TR): Daikoku, by Toyokuni II, and Ebisu, by Kunimitsu, dancing Manzai, with a kadomatsu decoration by Toyotoshi
3/3 (BR): Hotei viewing cherry blossoms, by Kunitsugu, with a Chinese child, by Kunitomo
5/5 (BC): Bishamonten in the role of Yanone Gorô, by Kuniyoshi
7/7 (TL): Benzaiten as the Weaver Star, by Kunisada, and Jurôjin as the Herdsman Star, by Kuninao
9/9 (BL): Fukurokuju at a chrysanthemum show, by Kunimune, with a Chinese child, by Kunihide, imitating Kiichi Hôgen and Ushiwakamaru in the play Kiichi Hôgen Sanryaku no Maki

Signed

Toyotoshi hitsu, Tokyokuni hitsu, Kunimitsu hitsu (TR); Kunitomo ga, Kunitsugu ga (BR); Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga (BC); Kôchôrô Kunisada ga, Kuninao hitsu (TL), Kunihide hitsu, Kunimune ga (BL)
豊年筆、豊国筆、国満筆、国朝画、国次画、一勇斎国芳画、香蝶楼国貞画、国直筆、国英筆、国宗画

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection