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painting / hanging scroll

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Painting, hanging scroll. Young woman in dance, posed in curve; right hand poised in delicate gesture, about to tap hand-drum on shoulder; toes of one foot raised and ends of belt and sleeves flying off to one side. Ink, colour and gold on paper. Bottom left-hand corner patched and small part of edge of skirts repainted. Signed and sealed.

    [Jap.Ptg.1411] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1411, image (a)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1411, image (b)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1411, image (T)] -
    [Jap.Ptg.1411, image (Ta)] -


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1804-1818 (or eariler?)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 76.7 centimetres
    • Width: 24.9 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        image, lower left
      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Hogen Tsukioka Sessai
      • Inscription Translation

        Tsukioka Sessai, Eyes of the Law rank
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom right
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Shuei no in
      • Inscription Translation

        Seal of Shuei
      • Inscription Comment

        Partly obscured by worm-hole; in red.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom right
      • Inscription Transliteration

      • Inscription Comment

        In red.
  • Curator's comments

    Clark 1992

    A young woman is caught in mid-movement in a lively dance, her body posed in a curve and right hand poised in a delicate gesture, about to tap the hand-drum ('tsutsumi') she holds up to her shoulder. The toes of one foot are raised as if following the rhythm, and the ends of her 'obi' and sleeves - painted with rapid, dry strokes - fly off to one side with the momentum. The black over-kimono is decorated with pine fronds in gold and cherry-flower-shaped roundels in various tie-dyed techniques, and both sleeves have been pulled off to allow her more freedom of movement, revealing a pink under-kimono with a design of butterflies over waving grasses. Her hair is twisted up into a variant of the archaic 'hyogo-mage' style, with a few stray locks allowed to dangle down.

    Women performers - dancers and puppeteers - were a regular subject for artists of the Tsukioka school, and it is likely this painting is based on an older composition by Settei, Sessai's father and teacher. This scroll may be dated tentatively to the Bunka era (1804-18) based on similarities with the signature on a Sessai painting, 'Female Puppeteer', inscribed by Takizawa Bakin in 1812 ('NU', vol. 9 (1982), no. 38), though, of course, Bakin may have added the inscription some years after that work was painted.

    The bottom left-hand corner of the painting has been patched and a small part of the edge of the skirts repainted.


  • Bibliography

    • Clark 1992 52 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • 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.1411 (Japanese Painting Number)
Hanging scroll. Dancer. Ink and colours on paper.

Hanging scroll. Dancer. Ink and colours on paper.

Image description



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Object reference number: JCF5158

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