Courtesan

Courtesan

1700s

studio of Kaigetsudō Ando 懐月堂 安度

(Japanese, c. 1671-1743)

Hanging scroll; ink and color paper

Overall: 182.9 x 53.4 cm (72 x 21 in.); Overall: 181.6 x 47.8 cm (71 1/2 x 18 13/16 in.); Painting only: 95.7 x 35.5 cm (37 11/16 x 14 in.); Painting only: 97.4 x 35.5 cm (38 3/8 x 14 in.)

The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.264

Location

Description

Paintings of the courtesans who provided men with a sophisticated menu of appealing fashions, flattery, witty banter, music, dancing, and sexual services in the Yoshiwara district of the city of Edo (Tokyo) were the bread and butter of the Kaigetsudō studio, in whose style this work is painted. Their paintings emphasized bold, sweeping calligraphic ink lines in rendering the figures’ forms, along with high-contrast colors and patterns in their typically solitary subjects’ garments. Aside from the occasional prop or poem, the space around the dramatic figure was left entirely blank.

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