Eight Favorite Things in the Modern World: Dolls
(Tosei kobutsu hakkei: Ningyo)
signed Keisai Eisen ga, censor's seal Kiwame (approved), and publisher's mark Senichi (Izumiya Ichibei of Kansendo), ca. 1823
oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 in., 37.1 by 25.4 cm
This series, which likens beauties to their 'favorite things,' depicts women and teenaged girls in association with objects that reflect personal interests or passions. In this case, in the upper left corner the hina doll contained within a storage box signed with the name of a well-known hina doll-maker, Shugetsu saku (Hara Shugetsu II of Asakusa) resonates with this beauty's beloved, a doll she holds in her hands while examining it closely. The girl's hairstyle, with the pink fabric tied in a bow in the front and securing her coiffure in the back, indicates she is a shinzo (apprentice courtesan), with the fresh face of one in her early teens. Her apparent delight in the object of her affection further confirms her young age, and Eisen dresses her appropriately in a youthful palette of rose and aubergine. Her kimono features a pattern of scattered momiji (maple leaves) and matsuba (pine needles) over a beni-dyed innerrobe with a resist pattern of cherry blossoms, contrasted with a light blue and black shima (striped) obi.
Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, Chiba City Museum of Art, 2012, pp. 68-69 (series)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (collections.mfa.org), gift of Porter Sargent, accession no. 49.1737
(inv. no. 10-5353)
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site last updated
October 3, 2022
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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