Evening Bell of the Clock

'Evening Bell of the Clock' from the series 'Eight Parlour Views' (zazishi hakkei)
Suzuki Harunobu

Edo (Japan)
Edo period, about 1766
Woodblock print on paper; 28,5 x 20,7 cm

This print depicts a young woman who has just taken her bath and sits, draped, on a veranda. Her servant, who is rubbing her back, turns toward the clock as it chimes. The scene refers to the image 'The Evening Gong at Qingliang Temple', one of the subjects of the classical canon of Eight Views of Xiaoxiang (China, 11th cent.), transposed here to the daily life of a Japanese woman in the 18th century. Refined beauties (bijin) are a favourite subject of the Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) that flourished in Edo (present-day Tokyo) in the 18th century. Suzuki Harunobu is a key artist, since he was the first to have his work published in full colour on a commercial scale. The museum's world-renowned collection of Japanese prints includes a several fine series of prints by Harunobu in an exceptional state of preservation.  

Discover this masterpiece on the online museum catalogue Carmentis, in the book Masterpieces of the Cinquantenaire Museum, soon in our exhibition Ukiyo-e The Finest Japanese Prints and in the app Sodesuka (you can soon download it for free on izi.travel and meet exhibition Ukiyo-e's curator Nathalie Vandeperre and other Japan lovers).