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painting / hanging scroll

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Painting, hanging scroll. Courtesan pausing as walking under cherry blossoms to turn and talk to two attendants; one of attendants holding flute in brocade bag. Signed and sealed. Ink and colours on paper.

    [Jap.Ptg.1410] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1410, image (a)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1410, image (b)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1410, image (c)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1410, image (T)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1410, image (Ta)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1410, image (V)] -


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1736-1751
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 90 centimetres
    • Width: 26.9 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom right
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Toensai Kao ga
      • Inscription Translation

        Picture by Toensai Kao
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom right
      • Inscription Content

        保信 [?]
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Yasunobu [?]
      • Inscription Comment

        In red.
  • Curator's comments

    Clark 1992

    In spring the central street in Yoshiwara pleasure quarter, Nakanocho, was lined with flowering cherry trees, and here a courtesan pauses as she walks under the blossoms to turn and talk to her two 'kamuro', one of whom holds a (?)flute in a brocade bag. The courtesan's surcoat ('uchikake') is decorated with an elaborate hand-painted design of swallows flying among willow branches above swirling water.

    Kao is known by only a handful of accomplished paintings of beauties whose small, plump features show the strong stylistic influence of Okumura Masanobu. On the basis of his use of the name Yasunobu in his seal he may be the same individual as Shibata Yasunobu, who is known by a single hand-coloured woodblock print. Other examples of his paintings are illustrated in Ota, April 1985, no. 63, and Narazaki 1987, vol. 2, no. 121 (Tokyo National Museum Collection).

    '(Hizo) Ukiyo-e taikan' ('Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections'), ed. Narazaki Muneshige. Vol. 1, Tokyo, Kodansha, 1987, no. 116.Asahi 1996


    花扇は、数点の美人画が知られるのみである。小さくてふくよかなそれらの顔立ちは、奥村政信の様式的な影響がかなり濃いことを示している。印章に「保信」という名を使っていることから、紅絵で知られる柴田保信と同一人物である可能性も考えられる(他の作品については、以下の文献を参照のこと。太田記念美術館『太田記念美術館所蔵 肉筆浮世絵名品展』図録 1685年 63図[。] 楢崎宗重編『日本の美術 肉筆浮世絵Ⅰ』1987年 至文堂 121図(東京国立博物館蔵))。



  • Bibliography

    • Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan Vol 1 116 bibliographic details
    • Asahi 1996 25 bibliographic details
    • Clark 1992 31 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • 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.

  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Jap.Ptg.1410 (Japanese Painting Number)
Painting. Courtesan and 2 kamuro. Ink and colours on paper.


Painting. Courtesan and 2 kamuro. Ink and colours on paper.

Image description



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Object reference number: JCF5142

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