koma-e こま絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Small pictorial cartouches in poem-card *tanzaku 短冊 shapes or with the appearance of pieces of colored paper in the upper right corners of *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints. Some of these small pictures are not confined to a frame, but all relate directly or indirectly to the larger painting beneath. These small cartouches might explain an accompanying parody *mitate-e 見立絵, or record the title of the painting. An early example of koma-e is the series made for the Tosa ballad-dramas, Tosa joururi 土佐浄瑠璃 by Nishimura Shigenaga 西村重長(1697?-1756?). Important later artists like Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信 (1725-70), Kitagawa Utamaro 喜多川歌麿 (1753-1806), Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1786-1865) and Keisai Eisen 溪斎英泉 (1790-1848) also employed koma-e for their prints.


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