Kaigetsudō Anchi, Courtesan, a woodblock print

Edo period, about AD 1710-20

A rare print from the Kaigetsudō school

The Kaigetsudō group of artists, led by Kaigetsudō Ando, specialized in the early years of the eighteenth century in paintings and large-format prints of single standing figures of high-ranked Edo courtesans.

Kaigetsudō Anchi may have been Ando's principal student, since he is the only one of the group to use the 'An' character of his teacher's name. Very few prints by this group survive - for example there are only eight known designs by Anchi, and this is the only known impression of this particular work. The reason for this may be the sheer fragility of prints in general, but it is also possible that the Kaigetsudō artists preferred to concentrate on paintings.

The style of Kaigetsudō prints is immediately recognizable: flowing calligraphic lines describe the exquisitely patterned kimonos, contrasting with the simple facial features.

This print should be compared with a painting by Matsuno Chikanobu in The British Museum collection, as Chikanobu was influenced by the Kaigetsudō artists.

Find in the collection online

Kaigetsudō Anchi, Courtesan, a woodblock print

Kaigetsudō Anchi, Courtesan, a woodblock print


More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

M. Narasaki (ed.), Hizō Ukiyo-e taikan-1, vol. 2 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1987)

L. Smith (ed.), Ukiyo-e images of unknown Japa (London, The British Museum Press, 1988/89)


Height: 590.000 mm
Width: 319.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA 1910.4-18.175



Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore