unsigned; 3/4 portrait of woman looking off to PR; red, pink, and white hair ornaments with silver and gold detail, small silver and gold chains hanging from headdress; three richly decorated kimono collars featuring delicate cherry blossoms, peach colored blossoms, and butterflies; bright strip of red at center compliments red detail in hair; green lower lip

City Girl [left of a triptych of Three Beauties], 1830s

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Although they are unsigned, these three paintings exhibit the idiosyncratic style of artist Mihata Jōryū’s beauties. At first glance their faces look similar, but Jōryū juxtaposes three types of femininity—a prostitute holding folded tissue paper, a geisha (entertainer) with a fan, and a city girl. Each one represents a different type of charm through her gesture and expression. Mihata Jōryū was active in Kyoto during the 1830s, and his paintings of beauties with clear-cut features and luxuriously designed kimonos became very fashionable, even in Edo (present-day Tokyo). By the 1830s many artists had come to follow Jōryū’s style, but little is known about the artist himself. Even his name is somewhat unclear, because he uses seals that read “Jōryū” and others reading “Jōryō.” His family name is believed to be Mihata, but that also is uncertain, for he used the surname Yokoyama on at least one extant painting.

Details
Title
City Girl [left of a triptych of Three Beauties]
Artist Life
act. 1830s
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.29.152.1
Curator Approved

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unsigned; 3/4 portrait of woman looking off to PR; red, pink, and white hair ornaments with silver and gold detail, small silver and gold chains hanging from headdress; three richly decorated kimono collars featuring delicate cherry blossoms, peach colored blossoms, and butterflies; bright strip of red at center compliments red detail in hair; green lower lip