Kuniteru II Utagawa, The Picture of Tea House Shinagawa-ya, Courtesans
Artist: Kuniteru II Utagawa (1830-1874)
Title: The Picture of Tea House Shinagawa-ya
Publisher: Yorozuya Magohei
Size: (L)35.6 x 23.7 (C)35.8 x 23.5 (R)35.5 x 23.6 cm
Original Japanese woodblock print.
Courtesans were not only skilled in serving a male customer, but they were also experts in dance, music, conversation, and other kinds of entertainment. They operated within the licensed quarters, such as the Yoshiwara district. They had a complex system of ranks, etiquette, and procedures. A courtesan would earn her funds not only for herself, but also for her entire entourage, e.g. attendants, younger courtesans-in-training.
The print shows a group of courtesans at a tea house, playing music in a lavish setting. They have hairstyles done in an elaborate manner with large hairpins called kanzashi. These were often made from tortoiseshell, silver, gold and gemstones, worn in a number of heavily-waxed hairstyles. Their kimono have a wealth of patterns and auspicious motifs. Many courtesans became celebrities both inside and outside of the pleasure quarters and were highly regarded fashion icons.
Kuniteru (Kunitsuna) II Utagawa
A pupil of Kunisada, Kuniteru II depicted the manners and sights of the late Tokugawa and early Meiji ages, particularly the early industrial scenes.
|Artist||Kuniteru (Kunitsuna) II Utagawa|
|Subject||Beauty & Female, Kimono Design|
|Dimensions||(L)35.6 x 23.7 (C)35.8 x 23.5 (R)35.5 x 23.6 cm|
|Condition Report||Wear and soiling, hole, slightly trimming, paper residue.|