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Title

(Portraits of six poetesses)

18th century-19th century


Artist

Watanabe Nangaku

Japan

1767 - 1813


About

Watanabe Nangaku was one of Okyo's ten most noted pupils. Okyo and his large studio fulfilled many commissions for 'bijin-ga' (paintings of beautiful women), professional-style paintings that were the Kyoto equivalent of Edo 'ukiyo-e' paintings and would have been commissioned by the Kyoto equivalent of the Edo townspeople. Nangaku was also significant for initiating Edo artists into the Kyoto-based Maruyama school while on a three-year sojourn there.

Compositions of six female portraits are uncommon, and while an Edo artist may have done it as a 'mitate' (parody) on the classical theme of the Six Immortal Poets ('Rokkasen'), Nangaku has treated his work as a group portrait. The women are believed to include two courtesans from Shimabara, Kyoto's entertainment district, the mother of painter Ike Taiga (lower left), and a peasant from the Ohara village, which provided Kyoto with brushwood for winter fires.


Details


Other Title

Portraits of six women


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

18th century-19th century


Media category

Painting


Materials used

hanging scroll; ink, colours and gold on silk


Dimensions

44.3 x 66.0 cm image; 155.5 x 84.3 x 96.7 cm scroll


Signature & date

Signed c.l., in Japanese [inscribed in ink] "Nangaku [artist's seal]". Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1980


Location

Not on display


Accession number

121.1980


Artist information

Watanabe Nangaku

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 4 publications

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Asian Art', pg. 85-103, Sydney, 1981, 85 (colour illus.), 98. cat.no. 26

Jackie Menzies, Orientations, 'Japanese Figure Painting: From the Public to the Personal', pg. 114-119, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 117 (colour illus.). fig.5

The Floating World: Japan's world of transient pleasures, Sydney, 1994, not paginated. cat.no. L13

The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Floating World', Sydney, 2003, 253 (colour illus.).