Height: 750.000 mm
Width: 300.000 mm
Gift of Sir W. Gwynne-Evans, Bt.
Asia JA JP 1405 (1913.5-1.0283)
Matsuno Chikanobu, Standing courtesan, a hanging scroll painting
Edo period, about AD 1704-16
In the medieval period in Japan
(twelfth-sixteenth centuries AD) Buddhist artists generally used
the tall hanging scroll format for the portrayal of deities,
patriarchs and Chinese sages. In the Edo period, however, it
gradually came to be used for secular figures. During the Kambun
era (AD 1661-73) there was a vogue for full-length hanging scroll
Matsuno Chikanobu (worked in the early eighteenth century) was influenced by the Kaigetsudō school, which specialized in such paintings of beauties. Chikanobu's portraits are immediately recognizable through certain distinctive features, such as the hair pulled straight back from the face, the tiny mouth turned up in a smile giving a sweet expression, and the impression of movement in the lines of the kimono. Here the outer kimono has a design of autumn chrysanthemums, but one sleeve has been thrown off from the shoulder to reveal the contrasting red under-kimono with its snowy winter bamboos.
The signature reads 'Hakushōken Matsuno Chikanobu kore [o] zu [su]' ('pictured by Hakushōken Matsuno Chikanobu'). the seal reads 'Sen(?)'.
L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)
T. Clark, Ukiyo-e paintings in the Briti (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)
M. Narasaki (ed.), Hizō Ukiyo-e taikan, vol. 1 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1987)