[Scenes at Shimabara].
UNKNOWN JAPANESE ARTIST (1800.)
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Watercolour on silk. Horizontal scroll measuring ca. 35.5x500cm, rich brocade mounting on the outside (minor wear), gold leaf paper embossed with flower design inside. Overall in very good condition. Kyoto, ca.
The present scroll appears to show scenes of the Shimabara, the main brothel area in Kyoto. It portrays the rituals and customs of the courtesans both inside and outside the house, from washing to putting on make-up, entertaining guests, playing the shamisen etc. The attribution to the Kyoto school is chiefly due to the decoration of the kimonos as well as the gentle style of painting. Scenes from the Yoshiwara in Edo tend to be painted in a more vivid/gaudy Ukiyo-e style. Interestingly, people are not drawn to scale, which means that the important characters are larger than their young attendants (kamuro) or passers-by. This makes for a pleasing shift in perspectives when viewing the scroll. We have not been able to identify the crest on the curtain (noren) in front of one of the geisha houses. It appears to resemble the Tachibana mon (Orange crest).
Stock Code: 223212