Beauty of the Yoshiwara with Apprentice in Moonlight

Teisai Hokuba Japanese

Not on view

Among the most splendid sights and sounds of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters was that of an elaborately dressed courtesan in procession with her entourage and the clattering cadence of their footsteps in high, lacquered clogs. This beauty's sumptuous, lavender-colored outer garment featuring three-dimensional wisteria blossoms is worn over layered robes, all rendered in extraordinary detail, including an elaborate obi decorated with a lion and peonies in gold. Her coiffeur boasts an assortment of tortoiseshell combs and long hair ornaments. Only the full moon, a pale orb rendered against faint washes of ink, and two geese in flight in the upper section of the scroll suggest an outdoor evening setting. The artist Teisai Hokuba, a principal student of Katsushika Hokusai, produced many surimono prints and was highly skilled in the minute depiction of details.

Beauty of the Yoshiwara with Apprentice in Moonlight, Teisai Hokuba (Japanese, 1771–1844), Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, Japan

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