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Title

Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū)

early 1880s-mid 1880s

Artist

Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai

Japan

1831 – 1889

Alternate image of Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū) by Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai
Alternate image of Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū) by Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai
Alternate image of Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū) by Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai
Alternate image of Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū) by Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Japan
    Period
    Meiji period 1868 - 1912 → Japan
    Date
    early 1880s-mid 1880s
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    hanging scroll: ink, metallic pigments, and colour on silk
    Dimensions
    54.6 x 98.1 cm image; 168.0 x 124.0 cm overall (including roller)
    Signature & date

    Signed: Seisei Kyōsai

    Credit
    Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation purchase, with funds from the Jean Milner and Mary Tancred bequests, 2019
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    6.2019
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai

    Works in the collection

    6

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  • About

    The artist Kawanabe Kyōsai was known during his lifetime for his political satire, artistic skill and eccentricity. Although trained in the established Utagawa and Kanō schools, the artist worked independently and produced some of the most imaginative images of the late Edo and early Meiji periods. Kyōsai was primarily a painter but also designed exceptional prints. He was a close friend and teacher of the English architect Josiah Conder (1852–1920) who lived in Japan from 1877 until his death.

    The Hell Courtesan (Jigoku-dayū) derives from legends of a 15th-century woman who dressed in robes decorated with images of the Buddhist hells. One of the most recognisable figures of supernatural Japan, she was a devout Buddhist whose faith was inspired by the Zen monk Ikkyū of the same period. Ikkyū is still much admired in Japan for his anti-establishment behaviour. In this painting Ikkyū is shown dancing on a skull.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Japan

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Kawanabe Kawanabe Kyōsai

See all 6 works