Jul 29, 2014

Hatsuito of the Yamashiroya Likened to Bush Clover, from Beauties of the Floating World Compared to Flowers

Hatsuito of the Yamashiroya Likened to Bush Clover, from Beauties of the Floating World Compared to Flowers

浮世美人寄花内 山城屋初糸 萩

1769–70

Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信

(Japanese, 1724–1770)

Color woodblock print

Sheet: 28.7 x 21.8 cm (11 5/16 x 8 9/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1157

Location

Description

Courtesan Hatsuito of a brothel named Yamashiroya is likened to autumnal bush clover in this series comparing the qualities of courtesans to flowers. Hatsuito ties her servant’s obi sash while a gibbon emerges from a painting in the room’s viewing alcove to offer a love letter on which Hatsuito’s name appears. Gibbons reaching in vain for the moon’s reflection in water is a common metaphor for the deluded mind, and bush clover in moonlight is a popular seasonal motif. Here, the ideas are combined as the gibbon woos this unattainable beauty.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Print

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