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Seated Courtesan

Utagawa%20Toyoharu%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Seated%20Courtesan%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201783%2C%20hanging%20scroll%3B%20ink%20and%20color%20on%20silk%2C%20Museum%20Purchase%3A%20Margery%20Hoffman%20Smith%20Fund%2C%20public%20domain%2C%2084.76
Utagawa Toyoharu, Seated Courtesan, 1783, hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Museum Purchase: Margery Hoffman Smith Fund, public domain, 84.76

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Details
Title

Seated Courtesan

Artist

Utgawa Toyoharu (Japanese, 1735-1814)

Related People

calligrapher: Kitao Masanobu (Santō Kyōden) (Japanese, 1761-1816)

Date

1783

Medium

hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Dimensions (H x W x D)

scroll: 58 1/2 in x 24 in; painting (including borders): 27 in x 18 1/4 in

Collection Area

Asian Art

Category

Paintings

Object Type

hanging scroll

Culture

Japanese

Credit Line

Museum Purchase: Margery Hoffman Smith Fund

Accession Number

84.76

Copyright

public domain

Terms

color

courtesans

hanging scrolls

ink

paintings

silk

Description

Utagawa Toyoharu is known to print collectors as a master of uki-e (landscapes employing one-point perspective). This painting, a portrait of one of the famous courtesans of Edo, reveals his talent as a painter of elegant beauties. At the woman’s side is a shamisen, a banjo-like instrument that was popular in Yoshiwara (the licensed brothel district) and the kabuki theater, and she appears to be perusing a songbook. The lengthy inscription is by Santō Kyōden—a leading author of comic fiction and a famous connoisseur of Edo’s entertainment districts.

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