Beauty under Cherry Blossoms

EishiJapan, Edo period (1615-1868)

University of Michigan Museum of Art

University of Michigan Museum of Art


  • Title: Beauty under Cherry Blossoms
  • Creator: Hosoda Eishi
  • Date Created: Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: w52.4 x h183.5 (work)
  • Label Copy: Born of a samurai family, Eishi was appointed to a high court rank. He is known for his tall figures, flowing drapery, elegant line, and bright colors. This painting depicts courtesans in full dress at a flower-viewing festival. An oiran, shown here wearing an overkimono decorated with a peacock flying over peonies, is a high-ranking geisha and she is followed by two kamuro, or girl attendants. The young woman on the left holds a battledore pad while the one on the right carries a cotton ball wrapped with white thread. Born into a high-ranking samurai family, Eishi first studied the Kanô painting style, the official school of the Tokugawa shogunate and the dominant school of painting in Japan for more than 300 years. It was characterized by an emphasis on brushwork and spare use of pigment. In 1789, Eishi retired from the honorable position as a "painting companion" of the current shogun in order to devote his career to mastering a quite different style, ukiyo-e, a school of painting and woodblock printmaking catering to popular tastes and often rendered in exceptionally vivid pigments. Here, the artist depicted a courtesan flanked by two attendants in the annual spring promenade in the pleasure district. The medley of beautiful women, the gorgeous tapestry of their garments, and the cherry blossoms is like a glimpse of paradise.
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/musart/x-1977-sl-1.180/1977_1_180.JPG?lasttype=boolean;lastview=thumbnail;resnum=1;sel9=ic_exact;size=20;sort=relevance;start=1;subview=detail;view=entry;rgn1=musart_an;select1=starts;q1=1977%2F1.180
  • Medium: Ink and color on silk


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