- Museum number
Hanging scroll. Geisha standing in front of free-standing screen tuning her shamisen; with blue kimono with pattern of small plant fronds scattered around hem and wide brown belt with design of large banana leaves picked out in green; bottom half of screen painted with autumn vine leaves. Ink, colour and gold on paper. Signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 105 centimetres
Width: 42.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Her elongated body arched into a single, sweeping curve, a geisha stands in front of a free-standing screen ('tsuitate') tuning her 'shamisen' and seeming to listen to what is being said on the other side of the screen, before she enters some party group to perform. She wears the slightly sombre ensemble that was customary for geishas - a blue kimono with a pattern of small plant fronds scattered around the hem and a wide brown 'obi' with a design of large banana leaves picked out in green. The bottom half of the screen is painted with autumn vine leaves in Edo Rinpa style, and this is where Toyohiro playfully chooses to place his signature, as if he were the artist of the screen and not of the figure.
The manner of drawing the face and the elongated proportions are highly reminiscent of the mid-late Kansei era (1789-1801) style of Toyokuni, a fellow, but somewhat senior, pupil of Toyoharu, who was much more prolific than Toyohiro at this time. Toyohiro had followed Toyokuni in the style of his paintings from his very first works done probably in the early Kansei era (1789-1801), often signed 'Utagawa Toyohiro'. Later, however, in the Bunka (1804-18) and Bunsei (1818-30) eras Toyohiro's figures would develop their own, much more fragile and idiosyncratic style with long necks and narrow faces.
Tokyo-to Bijutsukan (eds), 'Daiei Hakubutsukan hizo Edo bijutsu ten'. Exh. cat., 9 Aug.-24 Sept. 1990, no. 33.
- Not on display
- 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.1437 (Japanese Painting Number)