- Museum number
Folding fan, painting. Two women making snowball: one wearing headscarf blowing her hands; other adding more snow to snowball. Ink and colour on mica-covered paper. Signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 16.20 centimetres
Width: 45.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Two women have made a snowball almost as large as themselves; one wearing a headscarf blows her hands, while the other adds more snow to the snowball. Shell-white pigment ('gofun') has been blown through a split-reed atomiser to cover the surface of the fan lightly in imitation of falling snow.
Such a snow scene was presumably meant to encourage a pleasant chill to run down the viewer's back on the stifling summer day when the fan would be used. Folding fans ('sensu') were an indispensable accessory in the days before air-conditioning, and of the many thousands of fan papers decorated by Ukiyo-e painters most must have been thrown away as they became tattered to be replaced with the new season's designs. One large collection of fan paintings - many retaining their original bamboo spines - does survive from the Edo period, assembled by the Konoike family, who were merchants in Osaka. These are now owned by the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo, and more than 100 fans painted by Ukiyo-e artists were exhibited there in 1981.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 Oct 10-2008 Feb 17, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
2015 April-October, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The collection of Japanese and Chinese paintings belonging to Arthur Morrison was purchased by Sir William Gwynne-Evans, who presented it to the British Museum in 1913.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.1493 (Japanese Painting Number)