Handscroll with preliminary drawings for erotic images ('shunga')
late 19th century-early 20th century
The hand scroll contains 12 scenes of erotic encounters between couples of various social classes. The figures are delineated with fluid brushstrokes in black ink, while limbs and faces are accentuated with pink colour. Their garments are roughly sketched and coloured as customary for preliminary drawings. Notes written in 'katakana' give indications for the final appearance of the textile patterns.
The painting style is eclectic as it contains elements of various traditions such as the Maruyama-Shijo school and ukiyoe 'nikuhitsue' as well as Nihonga. The work can therefore be dated to the late 19th to early 20th century.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, April 2010.