Two Women and a Puppy

Nagasawa Rosetsu 長澤蘆雪 Japanese

Not on view

A lady in a purple kimono with a subtle spiderweb pattern is walking towards the left of the viewer, holding what seems to be a scroll or bundle of papers inside her lavishly decorated brocade obi (sash). Her plump-faced attendant, looking distractedly to the side as if something had caught her sudden attention, is clad in a dark striped kimono with green obi; the bamboo design of the tassels of her apron-like outer garment echoes a similar pattern on the red undergarment of her lady. An adorable puppy observes the two women as they appear to float by.

Nagasawa Rosetsu’s idiosyncratic approach to painting beautiful women (bijinga) humorously turns the premise of the genre on its head by showing two ladies as actually not quite so beautiful. The benign, slightly amused expression of the little dog might reflect the sentiment of the artist towards the vanity of the self-absorbed townswomen.

Two Women and a Puppy, Nagasawa Rosetsu 長澤蘆雪 (Japanese, 1754–1799), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Japan

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