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painting / hanging scroll

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1946,0209,0.48

  • Description

    Painting, hanging scroll. Skeletons dancing; one skeleton seated and playing shamisen beneath broken paper; other skeletons, some with bamboo swords at their sides, others with towels bound around their foreheads, enjoying music and dancing. Ink and colours on silk. Signed and sealed.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1871-1889
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 135.6 centimetres
    • Width: 66 centimetres
    • Height: 213.5 centimetres (mount)
    • Width: 88.2 centimetres (mount)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom left
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        應需惺々暁斎書
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Oju Seisei Kyosai sho
      • Inscription Translation

        Written by Oju Seisei Kyosai
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Script

        Japanese
      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom left
      • Inscription Content

        惺々 / 暁斎
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Seisei / Kyosai
  • Curator's comments

    Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3

    Kawanabe Kyosai's (1831-89) artistic talent had an astonishing range, extending from orthodox pictures founded in the Kano style to humorous and satirical pictures, full of wit, in the manner of ukiyo-e artist Kuniyoshi.

    The present work is a lighthearted play on the skeleton theme that occurs in so many of his works. Beneath a broken paper lantern, to the stylish strumming of a samisen, a skeleton wearing a cotton towel on its head like a low-class prostitute holds the bare ribs of an open fan to its mouth to conceal a laugh. Prompted by the music of the same samisen, other skeletons, some with bamboo swords at their sides, others with towels bound around their foreheads, join in a wild dance. Such themes, found also in his 'Kyosai manga', published in 1881, are a speciality of this artist.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan Vol 3 107 bibliographic details
    • Clark 1993 BW 94 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1946

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1946,0209,0.48

  • Additional IDs

    • Jap.Ptg.Add.230 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)
COMPASS Title: Kawanabe Kyosai, Dancing Skeletons, a hanging scroll painting

Unknown

COMPASS Title: Kawanabe Kyosai, Dancing Skeletons, a hanging scroll painting

Image description

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Object reference number: JCF6837

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