- Museum number
Painting, panel, originally from a pair of small six-panel screens?. Woman, with open fan held at end of outstretched arm, moving forward in rhythmical line dance. Ink and colour on paper.
- Production date
Height: 53.30 centimetres (c.)
Width: 30.80 centimetres (c.)
- Curator's comments
- Clark 1992
Though now mounted on separate panels, these paintings probably originally formed two panels of a pair of small six-fold screens showing women in various movements of a fan dance. One woman, with open fan held delicately at the end of an outstretched arm, seems to move forward in some gently rhythmical line dance; the other has tucked a semi-folded fan into the nape of her kimono, drawn her hands into her sleeves, and is about to stamp her foot with gusto. Four pairs of six-fold screens with similar single figures of fan dancers on each panel are known in other collections (New Otani Art Museum, Boston Museum, Kyoto City Museum, Suntory Museum; illustrated in Kobayashi 1982, BW nos 1-30). They are thought to date from the Kan'ei era (1624-44), and come midway in the shift in interest from screens in the genre painting tradition showing large groups of figures in brothel interiors to hanging scrolls of single standing figures of courtesans (the so-called 'beauties of the Kambun era (1661-73)'; see nos 3, 4) that are the earliest Ukiyo-e paintings proper. Though their compositions are virtually identical with figures in the pairs of screens mentioned above, the British Museum pair does not share the gold-leaf backgrounds of all other known versions. The confident, flowing line quality and certain archaic details of the costume make it likely that they are among the oldest examples of paintings of the fan-dancer 'type'.
Morrison, Arthur, 'The Painters of Japan', vol, 2 (1911), pl. VIII.
Narazaki Muneshige (ed.), 'Hizo ukiyo-e taikan' ('Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections'), vol. 1 (Kodansha, 1987), no. 6, BW no. 1.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008 Feb 18-2008 Jun 1, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
2011 Jun- 2011 Oct, 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.1362 (Japanese Painting Number)