Jul 27, 2021
Feb 12, 2004
Feb 12, 2004
Jul 27, 2021
Jul 27, 2021
Aug 3, 2021
Aug 4, 2021

Pleasure Boat on the Sumida River

Pleasure Boat on the Sumida River



Teisai Hokuba 蹄斎 北馬

(Japanese, 1771–1844)

Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Overall: 153.3 x 76.2 cm (60 3/8 x 30 in.); Painting only: 40 x 55.3 cm (15 3/4 x 21 3/4 in.)

The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.262



After a major fire in Edo (now Tokyo), the Yoshiwara licensed brothel district was relocated to an area accessed via boat along the Sumida River, giving rise to many compositions depicting travel there. Here, attendants with checkered robes serve refreshment to a client. A figure at the fore of the boat tends to the kitchen. A courtesan at the aft, or rear, surveys the river scene. Acquaintances converse in modest commuter boats, and fishers put in to a tiny island. The boat is near the entrance to the San’ya Canal, where pleasure-seekers would disembark.

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