Peonies, 1849-1851

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After sumptuary edicts were issued in 1842, restrictions against luxurious fashions became even more strident. Subdued colors and simple stripes became the norm, even among the women working in pleasure quarters. By the mid-19th century, wearing clothing with muted colors and patterns was no longer a government imperative, but was regarded as exhibiting good taste. As outer robes became simpler, fashionistas shifted their focus to the linings and inner robes.

The woman in this print, for example, wears a rather simple plaid kimono, but her inner robe is bright red. In addition, the blue lining of her robe matches her obi sash. The dark stripe in the center of the sash has the floral pattern that is echoed by the pattern of the sash's red lining. Such close attention to detail indicates a subtle and sophisticated fashion sense.

Artist Life
1797 - 1858
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ukiyo-e shūka 14 (1981), Hiroshige list, p. 252, ōban #27.7
Curator Approved

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