A Blank Scroll,

c. 1834-1842

by Utagawa Kunifusa I

IHL Cat. #2568


A courtesan holds a blank scroll in front of a man who stares blankly at it while his pipe seems to be spelling out characters.

Note: The inscription on the print has not been translated.  

Artist Profile

Utagawa Kunifusa I 歌川国総 (fl. c. 1830-1844) 

Little is known about this artist who signed his name Kunifusa 國総  and who may have been a student of Utagawa Toyokuni II 歌川豊国 (1744-1835). There is also an Utagawa Kunifusa II, who signed his prints 國房 rather than 國総. The Wikipedia entry "List of Utagawa school members" lists Kunifusa I 國総 as being active 1810-1813, a Kunifusa 國房 as being active at the "beginning 19th century" and a Kunifusa II 國房 being active 1834-1883. The St. Louis Art Museum lists an Utagawa Kunifusa II, b. 1830 and displays an 1894 print attributed to him. The website Ukiyo-e Signature Sample Database gives the active dates for a Kunifusa 國総 as 1830-1844, the dates I've used here. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has two toba-e in their collection (11.45819 and 11.458.20) bearing Kunifusa's signature. 

Print Details

Toba-e #2568