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Courtesan in a Procession, c. 1720–30

Baioken Eishun

Ukiyo-e paintings are perceptive reflections of life in the entertainment quarters of Japanese cities during the Edo period. The outings and amusements of citizens, as well as lavishly dressed courtesans and their patrons, are depicted in paintings that are sensuous, emotional, and decorative. This scroll depicts a scene enacted daily as a stately courtesan proceeds proudly through the streets with attendants, the umbrella held by the male retainer proclaiming her rank. The backward glance of the courtesan and the strong black contours of the figures are in accord with the formula established by the Kaigetsudo school which Eishun followed.


Baron Seikai Kuki, Hyogo prefecture, Tokyo;

by descent to Ryuichi Kuki, Tokyo, by 1932;

(N.V. Hammer, Inc., New York), by 1969;

purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1970.

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