abuna-e あぶな絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Erotic or suggestive pictures. Derived from the word "abunai あぶない" meaning dangerous or risque. More explicit works of art are called *shunga 春画. Abuna-e capture glimpses of nude or partially nude females involved in everyday activities such as bathing, washing their hair, enjoying the cool of the evening, or putting on makeup. Often a sudden gust of wind, small child, or even an animal such as a monkey or cat has playfully pulled the woman's robes apart revealing her legs, thighs, or breasts. It is thought that abuna-e were created in 1772, after the government banned more explicit erotica, and the peak of their popularity, around the middle of the 18c, supports this assumption. Because their message is implicit, some people consider abuna-e more truly erotic than the explicitly sexual shunga. Many were designed by woodblock print artists Ishikawa Toyonobu 石川豊信 (1711-85), Torii Kiyomitsu 鳥居清満 (1735-85), and Kiyohiro 清広 (fl.1737-76) as *beni-e 紅絵 prints. Other artists such as Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信(1724-70), Isoda Koryuusai 磯田湖龍斎(fl.c.1764-880), and Torii Kiyonaga 鳥居清長(1752-1815) produced abuna-e as multi-colored *nishiki-e 錦絵. Most *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 designers of *bijinga 美人画 also produced abuna-e.


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