A courtesan puts on her kimono, indicating that her companion is departing. The square cartouche contains a cawing crow - the sound associated with early morning farewells in the pleasure quarters.
During his early 70s, Kunisada started work on several series that are understood to have been conceived with the intention of him leaving an enduring legacy as a major artist. Extra care and attention was given to the designs, as well as the materials, engraving and printing. ‘The Modern Thirty-two Types’ depicts portraits of various types of women from the districts of Edo and is one such series that employed the highest standards of production, including the use of imported and expensive dyes. This is especially apparent when viewing the first edition where thick, deluxe paper was also used.
See Sebastian Izzard, Kunisada’s World, (New York, 1993), p. 180-181.