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Courtesan Beneath a Willow Branch

Accession Number
1970/2.158

Title
Courtesan Beneath a Willow Branch

Artist(s)
Japanese

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1740-1750

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink and color on paper

Dimensions
35 1/4 in. x 6 3/4 in. ( 89.54 cm x 17.15 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Carter

Label 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 Art

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Japan
beauty
branches
courtesans
hanging scroll
kimono
panels
standing
willows
woman

1 Related Resource

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved