Modern Specialties and Dyed Fabrics: Sound of Insects at the Bank on the Sumida
(Tosei meibutsu kanoko: Sumida-tsutsumi no mushino oto)
signed Keisai Eisen ga, with censor's seal kiwame (approved), publisher's mark Hei (Omiya Heihachi), ca. 1830
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 3/4 in., 35.3 by 24.9 cm
An interior view of a young woman reading a letter by the light of an andon (lantern). The temperature must be uncomfortably warm- she wears her purple and green plaid kimono as loosely as possible, leaving the collar wide open at her chest with the sleeves are pushed up, and allowing it to open between her thighs revealing the red under robe, and there is a summer fan decorated with bonito fish and daikon (both summer foods) at her feet. The lantern casts a beam a light across the room, and a kimono decorated with an auspicious bat pattern hangs to the side. She sits awkwardly with her knees folded at an angle, hunched over the long scroll of paper, with a look of anguish on her face. Wisps of hair fall into her face signaling her distress.
The term kanoko, in the series title, refers to a type of cloth dyed in a dappled pattern, worn by all of the beauties in this series.
Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, 2012, pp. 152-153 (series), p. 283, cat. no. 90-2
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Scholten Japanese Art
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New York, New York 10019
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