- Museum number
Painting, hanging scroll. Courtesan with hair twisted into knot on top of head, and attendant; in abbreviated painting style. Ink on paper. Signed and sealed.
- Production date
Height: 117 centimetres (with mount)
Height: 41.70 centimetres
Width: 31 centimetres (with mount)
Width: 17.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Clark 1992
After all the meticulous, highly finished paintings in this catalogue it comes as something of a relief to encounter this lightning sketch of a courtesan and her 'kamuro' attendant, done with the minimum of rapidly brushed lines in the 'abbreviated painting style' ('ryakuga-shiki') perfected by Masayoshi after the middle years of the Kansei era (1789-1801). In a series of colour-printed illustrated books of beguiling humour and utter originality, all with the title ending ... 'ryakuga-shiki', he captures the individual essence of figures, birds, beasts, fish and even landscapes with just a few telling strokes and colour washes.
Many of the figures in Masayoshi's later paintings wear archaic fashions - perhaps to indicate that he had distanced himself from the up-to-date world of Ukiyo-e - and abbreviated though the drawing is here, the courtesan clearly has the seventeenth-century 'hyogo-mage' hairstyle, in which the hair is twisted into a knot on top of the head.
Hillier 1973, vol. 3, no. 214.
Hillier, Jack. 'Japanese Drawings of the 18th and 19th Centuries'. Washington, DC, International Exhibitions Foundation, 1980, no. 42.
'(Hizo) Ukiyo-e taikan' ('Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections'), ed. Narazaki Muneshige. Vol. 1, Tokyo, Kodansha, 1987, BW no. 16.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008 Jun-Oct 10, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
2011 Oct – 2012 Feb, BM Japanese Galleries, ‘Japan from Prehistory to the Present’
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.712 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)