Katsukawa Shunchō
Peony show
c. 1785

Signed: Shunchō ga; Publisher’s seal: Eijudō (Nishimuraya Yohachi); ōban, 36.5 x 25.0 cm; nishiki-e with karazuri

An elegant young woman is with two companions and a young girl at the popular peony show, which traditionally took place in Nishigahara, on the edge of Edo, in the fourth and firth months of the lunar calendar. Instead of a “courtesan”, Shunchō is portraying ladies from the merchant class here. While Kiyonaga’s bijin parade along the Naka-no-chō Street in Yoshiwara, Shunchō’s beautiful women promenade through a public garden in the capital (cf. Kiyonaga’s “Peony Show in Yoshiwara”, cat.119).

A. Lemp, Zurich (November 1961)
Riese Collection #62

Peonies blossomed in the 4th and 5th months of the lunar calendar, and townspeople flocked to the gardens of Nishigahara, a northern suburb of Edo near Asukayama, to see the magnificent flowers in bloom.
Another impression of this print in the Mihara collection is reproduced in Ukiyo-e Art, No. 3, 1963, “Exhibition of Masterpieces of Ukiyo-e”, no. 128.

Reproduced in: Ingelheim catalogue, no. 54.