- Museum number
Painting, hanging scroll. Skeletons dancing; one skeleton seated on grave marker and playing shamisen beneath torn paper lantern; other skeletons, some with bamboo swords at their sides, others with towels bound around their foreheads, enjoying music and dancing. Ink and colour on silk. Signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 213.50 centimetres (mount)
Height: 135.60 centimetres
Width: 88.20 centimetres (mount)
Width: 66 centimetres
- 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.
- On display (G93/dc6/sG)
- Exhibition history
2022 April - October 2022, BM Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.230 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)