Female Entertainer with Shamisen

Teisai Hokuba Japanese

Not on view

A young woman with a shamisen and teacup sits on the second floor of a restaurant or brothel. A libretto rests on her lap. The river view beyond the balcony, showing customers making their way to the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, presents a peaceful springtime scene dotted with cherry blossoms. The round box in front of the woman, used to hold tea utensils, is painted with a Chinese-style landscape.

Teisai Hokuba, an early and close disciple of Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), emulated his master’s manner of depicting beautiful women, elongating their faces and describing their robes with kinetic brushstrokes. As here, he often rendered background landscapes in a sketchier, atmospheric style.

Female Entertainer with Shamisen, Teisai Hokuba (Japanese, 1771–1844), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, Japan

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