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Convolvulus and Tree-Frog, by Hokusai

Image attached to P.10-2006

An image of Convolvulus and Tree-frog. Ukiyo-e. Hokusai, Katsushika, (Japanese, 1760-1849). Colour print from woodblocks, from the untitled series of ten prints published by Nichimuraya Yohachi (Eijûdo). Signed: zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu, publisher’s mark Eijûdo, censor’s seal: kiwame. Woodcut, colour printing, circa 1832. Notes: From the rare untitled series of flower prints published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (c.1833-34) known as the ‘Large flowers’. Each print in the series features a flower and an insect (frogs and other amphibians were classified as insects). Hokusai was probably influenced and inspired by Utamaro’s great trio of natural history books on the themes of insects, birds and shells. Utamaro’s books, with their playful comic verse, may also have prompted the humour evident in this print, where the eye has to search before finding the frog. The series is very rare: only two complete sets are known to survive, and only around a handful of impressions of each individual print. The Fitzwilliam’s impression of Convolvulus and Tree-frog is outstanding in condition; other surviving impressions are typically faded, with the flowers that are purple in this impression faded to red, and those that are pale blue faded to grey. This indicates that both these colours contain the pigment dayflower blue (tsuyugasa), probably the most fugitive of all pigments used for prints in the Edo period: very few prints survive with this pigment intact.

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About this image

Convolvulus and Tree-frog. Ukiyo-e. Hokusai, Katsushika, (Japanese, 1760-1849). Colour print from woodblocks, from the untitled series of ten prints published by Nichimuraya Yohachi (Eijûdo). Signed: zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu, publisher’s mark Eijûdo, censor’s seal: kiwame. Woodcut, colour printing, circa 1832. Notes: From the rare untitled series of flower prints published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (c.1833-34) known as the ‘Large flowers’. Each print in the series features a flower and an insect (frogs and other amphibians were classified as insects). Hokusai was probably influenced and inspired by Utamaro’s great trio of natural history books on the themes of insects, birds and shells. Utamaro’s books, with their playful comic verse, may also have prompted the humour evident in this print, where the eye has to search before finding the frog. The series is very rare: only two complete sets are known to survive, and only around a handful of impressions of each individual print. The Fitzwilliam’s impression of Convolvulus and Tree-frog is outstanding in condition; other surviving impressions are typically faded, with the flowers that are purple in this impression faded to red, and those that are pale blue faded to grey. This indicates that both these colours contain the pigment dayflower blue (tsuyugasa), probably the most fugitive of all pigments used for prints in the Edo period: very few prints survive with this pigment intact.

Image data

  • Accession Number: P.10-2006
  • Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
  • Aperture: f/19.0
  • Focal length: 80
  • Camera: Hasselblad H4D-31
  • Photographer name: Andrew Norman
  • Image height: 702 pixels
  • Image width: 1024 pixels
  • Processed with: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4 (Windows)
  • Filesize: 832.04kB
  • Exposure time: 1/90
  • ISO Speed: 100
  • Fnumber: 19/1
  • Captured: 2017:02:01 11:26:27

Key words

19th Century amphibian botanical colour printing Convolvulaceae Convolvulus Edo Period Eijudo Fitz_PDP floral flowers frogs Hokusai Ipomoea Japanese Katsushika Hokusai Morning Glory Nichimuraya Yohachi plants print ukiyo-e woodblock woodcut Yohachi

Colours in this image

rgb(231,213,175), rgb(105,120,96), rgb(152,143,120), rgb(137,113,105), rgb(165,170,145), rgb(248,238,217), rgb(166,167,121), rgb(190,175,144), rgb(142,127,91), rgb(124,156,128), rgb(124,132,140)

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Convolvulus and Tree-Frog, by Hokusai" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-1322102672 Accessed: 2024-06-23 06:42:50

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-1322102672 |title=Convolvulus and Tree-Frog, by Hokusai |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-23 06:42:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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    <figure class="figure">
        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/pdp/pdp76/P_10_2006_201702_adn21_dc2.jpg"
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        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Convolvulus and Tree-Frog, by Hokusai</figcaption>
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