“Clock Striking in the Evening” from the Series [Eight Views of the Living Room]
Two women in loosely-wrapped kimono enjoy the evening cool on the veranda, most likely after bathing. The woman sitting behind is turning at the sound of a clock chiming. The viewer looks down on a parlor from outside. This composition conveys the relaxed atmosphere of this cool, draughty space. The "Eight Views of the Living Room" are a series of eight prints depicting the daily lives of women. They are a parody on the "Eight Views of Xiaoxiang", a traditional theme of Chinese art. In this "Clock Striking in the Evening" print, the clock bell symbolizes the temple bell in "Evening Bell from Mist-Shrouded Temple", a scene from the "Eight Views of Xiaoxiang". The high social status of the women is implied by the valuable clock and also by the elegant screen, with its ink painting of bamboo. This is an early example of a nishiki-e, a multicolor woodblock print pioneered by Suzuki Harunobu and others.