Kuronushi from the series The New Six Immortal Poets

Eishic. 1795

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

This print shows a courtesan adjusting her hairdo before a mirror as her attendant looks on. In the cartouche next to her is a poem by Ōtomo no Kuronishi, a Heian period courtier celebrated as one of the Six Immortal Poets. His portrait and name appear in the disk-shaped title cartouche.

The poem reads: "Mirror Mountain / Has been raised high / To show us all / Our Lord will live a thousand years!" The poem appears in the <em>Anthology of Ancient and Modern Verse</em> <em>(Kokinwakashū)</em> with a note that it was sung at the investiture of the Emperor Daigo (885-930). Here, the courtesan could be perceived as a stand-in for the emperor, making this a rather risqué print.

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  • Title: Kuronushi from the series The New Six Immortal Poets
  • Creator: Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829)
  • Date Created: c. 1795
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 33.4 x 20.5 cm (13 1/8 x 8 1/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Fanny Tewksbury King [1867–1949], Cleveland, OH, sold by her estate to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1956.755
  • Medium: color woodblock print
  • Original Title: 新六歌仙 黒主
  • Inscriptions: Signature: Eishi zu Seal: kiwame
  • Department: Japanese Art
  • Culture: Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)
  • Credit Line: The Fanny Tewksbury King Collection
  • Collection: Japanese Art
  • Accession Number: 1956.755

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