Courtesan Tasting a Morning-glory BudArtist(s)Isoda KoryûsaiObject Creation Dateearly 1770Medium & SupportPillar-format full-color woodblock print (hashira e nishiki e)Dimensions
27 5/16 in x 4 7/8 in (69.37 cm x 12.38 cm)Credit LineBequest of Margaret Watson ParkerLabel copy
Isoda Koryûsai was a younger contemporary of Harunobu, and his earliest prints are very much in the elder master’s style. After Harunobu’s death in 1770, Koryûsai gradually moved toward his own idiom and a more substantial female type. In this pillar print he fills the tall and narrow format with the figure of a young woman and a planter of morning glories. She brings a morning-glory bud to her mouth, to taste its sweet nectar—something children in Japan still do today. The action is presented here with unmistakably erotic overtones: the woman is identified as a courtesan by the fact that her obi is tied in the front, and her stance reveals much more leg than a proper young lady would allow.
"Courtesans, Cross-Dressers, and the Girl Next Door Images of the Feminine in Japanese Popular Prints"
3/9 - 9/1/02Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typecolor printCollection AreaAsianRights
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