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Title

Portrait of a standing courtesan


Artist

Utagawa TOYOHARU

Japan

1735 - 1814


About

Toyoharu was the founder of the Utagawa school, a school of 'ukiyo-e' that was to dominate the late 1700s into the 1800s. As with many 'ukiyo-e' masters, biographical details on him are scant. He produced many prints, pioneering the use of perspective in his landscape prints. In the 1780s he turned to paintings of courtesans of which this is an extraordinary example. The subject is a high-class courtesan, yet its unusual scale would indicate it was created for a special patron or teahouse proprietor who avidly admired the girl. She is sumptuously dressed in between-season robes, boldly decorated with the classic pairing of phoenix and dragon. The distinctive hairdo with its wide side flanges and many combs and ornamental hairpins dates the work to the 1780s, when such hairstyles were the vogue.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.252.


Details


Other Title

Portrait of a standing courtesan (Tayû)


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

1780s


Media category

Painting


Materials used

hanging scroll; ink and colour on silk


Dimensions

161.5 x 84.2 cm image; 274.0 x 105.5 x 117.5 cm scroll


Signature & date

Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink [inscribed] "Tôto Utagawa Toyoharu zu-shi [painted by Utagawa Toyoharu of the Eastern Capital (Edo)]" [and two artist's seals]. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased with funds provided by Kenneth Myer 1990


Location

Not on display


Accession number

104.1990


Artist information

Utagawa TOYOHARU

Works in the collection

2


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 7 publications

Bibliography


Julie Nelson Davis, The golden journey: Japanese art from Australian collections, ''Doing everything for effect': performing beauty in ukiyo-e of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries', pg. 152-169, South Australia, 2009, 153 (colour illus.), 311 (colour illus.).

Gary Hickey, Beauty & desire in Edo period Japan, 'Pleasure Town', pg. 25-36, Parkes, 1998, 28 (colour illus.), 70. fig.no. 21

Jackie Menzies and Edmund Capon, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Japanese Painting', pg. 53-69, Sydney, 1990, 54, 65 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, The Floating World: Japan's world of transient pleasures, Sydney, 1994, cover (colour illus.). cat.no. C28

Jackie Menzies, Orientations, 'Japanese Figure Painting: From the Public to the Personal', pg. 114-119, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 118 (colour illus.). fig.8

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Floating World', Sydney, 2003, 252 (colour illus.).

Tadashi KOBAYASHI, Imaging the floating world: Essays on ukiyoe prints and paintings of the Edo period, Bunkyo-ku, 2009, 104 (colour illus.). cat.no.86