Jun 5, 2013
Jun 5, 2013
Jun 5, 2013

Chinese Beauty

Chinese Beauty


late 1700s–early 1800s

Kubo Shunman 窪 俊満

(Japanese, 1757–1820)

Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Image: 96 x 37 cm (37 13/16 x 14 9/16 in.); Overall: 184.2 x 53.3 cm (72 1/2 x 21 in.)

Kelvin Smith Fund 1988.1



Ukiyo-e artists’ exploration of beautiful people extended to figures from other lands. Here, an elegant Chinese palace lady holding a fan stands before a banana plant. The poem at the top is written in a Japanese appropriation of Chinese called kanbun. Based on its imagery of a palanquin (an enclosed couch with poles used for carrying passengers), silk fan, and autumn winds, it may allude to the story of Lady Ban (about 48 BC–about AD 2). A Chinese beauty famous for her scholarly achievements, Ban was once consort to an emperor but later lost his favor. In a poem attributed to her, she compared herself to a used silk fan put away in autumn.

See also
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Kelvin Smith Fund

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.