Prostitute Reading a Poem-Card, c. 1735

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While images of the beautiful women and Kabuki actors of Japan's "floating world" first became popular in the eastern capital of Edo, artists in the historic capital of Kyoto soon followed their lead. Nishikawa Sukenobu designed illustrations for a large number of picture books featuring elegantly clad, sweet-faced women. Although he did not design any single-sheet prints, he was renowned in his lifetime for his meticulously rendered and elegant paintings. Here, Sukenobu depicts a fashionable young woman wearing a loose outer robe (uchikake) with a pattern of willow trees, over a red crepe kimono. She pauses to read a poem card (tanzaku) that has been attached to the branch of a flowering cherry tree.

Prostitute Reading a Poem-Card
Artist Life
1671 - 1750
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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