Young lovers, mothers and children, informal scenes from everyday life, parodies on classical themes (Mitate-e): Harunobu captured these in limited space, yet in refined, poetic images within his abundant Nishiki-e. The incorporation of Edo beauties and famous places in themes also contributed to the popularization of Nishiki-e. Today, Harunobu’s works remain in very small numbers of copies compared with those of later artists; as more than 80% of extant works by Harunobu are held overseas, opportunities to see his art in Japan are extremely limited. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston prides itself with the best collection in the world both in quality and quantity of its Harunobu Collection, from which 150 items have been chosen here. This exhibition gives a comprehensive view of the artistic activity of Harunobu, and at the same time, by including related works by his predecessors and those he duly influenced, conveys a sense of the times that nurtured him as an Ukiyo-e artist.
- Suzuki Harunobu, Parody of Court Lady Tamamushi at the Battle of Yashima, Bequest of Miss Ellen Starkey Bates, 28.195
- Suzuki Harunobu, The Third Princess and Her Cat, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.19508
- Suzuki Harunobu, Courtesan and Customer at the Ibarakiya (Parody of Watanabe no Tsuna and the Demon Ibaraki Dôji), William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.19494
- Suzuki Harunobu, Travelers at Yatsuhashi (Parody of Yatsuhashi), William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, 11.19462
- Photographs © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston