Courtesan Beneath a Willow BranchArtist(s)JapaneseArtist NationalityJapanese (culture or style)Object Creation Datecirca 1740-1750Medium & Supporthanging scroll, ink and color on paperDimensions
35 1/4 in. x 6 3/4 in. ( 89.54 cm x 17.15 cm )Credit LineGift of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. CarterLabel copy
This charming painting depicts a young courtesan out on parade, dressed in a simple but striking costume. Her black cloak (uchikake) is decorated with a discreet overall pattern of plovers, and allowed to fall open to reveal its bright red lining. She subtly advertises her occupation by tying her sash (obi) in front. This painting was done in Edo (modern Tokyo), the boisterous headquarters of the military government. Images of contemporary life in paintings and prints focused on courtesans and actors, two glamorous yet mildly scandalous subjects: officially considered very low caste, both were objects of public adulation and standard-setters for fashion.
Exhibited in "Japanese Costumes & Ceramics, Past & Present," October 2001-February 2002. Maribeth Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian ArtPrimary Object Classification Painting Primary Object Typehanging scrollAdditional Object Classification(s)PaintingCollection AreaAsianRights
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