Artist: Harunobu SuzukiTitle: The Heron Maiden and Her LoverPublisher: WatanabeDate: Showa era printed from recarved woodblocksMedium: Japanese woodblock printSize: 9.5 x 11.75 inches
There are many variations on the tale of the Heron Maiden in Japan, but most involve a woodsman either sparing or rescuing a heron (in other versions it is a fox or tree). Shortly thereafter, he encounters a beautiful girl, falls in love, and marries her. But the girl insists that the woodsman promise he will not watch her at certain times. He inevitably accidentally or purposefully violates the promise and sees the woman in her true heron identity, and with her identity exposed she must leave him and return to her original form. The woodsman is often left with a child born of his now-vanished supernatural wife.
Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770) was a Japanese designer of woodblock print artist in the Ukiyo-e style. He was an innovator, the first to produce full-color prints in 1765, rendering obsolete the former modes of two- and three-color prints.
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