Courtesan Reading a Letter by Moonlight Reflected on Snow; Parody of Son Kang

見立孫康 (雪明かりで文を読む女)

Edo period
1765 (Meiwa 2)
Artist Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770), Designer Risen (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

MFA, Suzuki Harunobu (exh. cat., 2017), #27; Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade (2013), #039; Chiba 2002, #48 (this impression); Ukiyo-e shûka 4 (1979), list #178.1, and supp. 1 (1982), pl. 12


Vertical chûban; 26.8 x 20 cm (10 9/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Out on Loan

On display at Abeno Harukas Art Museum, Osaka, Japan, April 24, 2018 – June 24, 2018


Asia, Prints and Drawings



First state, with seal of designer Risen and calendar information in the letter.

MFA impressions: 11.19438 (first state), 11.19439 (third state)


(seal only)


Designer's seal: Risen


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)

[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