Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753-1806). <em>Courtesans Strolling Beneath Cherry Trees Before the Daikokuya Teahouse</em>, probably 1789. Woodblock print, color on paper, 15 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (39.1 x 26.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Charles A. Brandon, by exchange; purchased with funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Danziger, Joan Easton, Mrs. Myron S. Falk, Jr., George S. Friedman, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Kingdon, Klaus F. Naumann, Robert Rosenkranz, and Mr. and Mrs. David Young and Asian Art Acquisition Fund, 1995.137a-c (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1995.137a-c_PS4.jpg)

Courtesans Strolling Beneath Cherry Trees Before the Daikokuya Teahouse

Artist:Kitagawa Utamaro

Medium: Woodblock print, color on paper

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:probably 1789

Dimensions: 15 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. (39.1 x 26.4 cm)


Accession Number: 1995.137a-c

Image: 1995.137a-c_PS4.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
Oban tate-e triptych, woodblock print, color on paper. Three courtesans and their kamuro (child attendants) and shinzo (apprentices), identified by inscription, from right: Nabiki (Wakamatsuya), Yoshino (also fo the Wakamatsuya), and Kasugano (Ogiya), at the Daikokuya Teahouse, which had moved from Nakanocho to Ageyacho after the great 1787 fire, and apparently reopened in the spring of 1789, an event which is suggested by Prof. Asano Shugo (Chiba City Museum, Chiba City, Japan) to be celebrated by this design (see Utamaro, 1995, p. 57). Asano (conversation with A. Poster, 4/27/96) feels now that there may be five prints (making the design a pentaptych). Other versions are in the MFA, Boston, and Worcester Art Museum. No complete pentaptych survives. The three sumptuously attired courtesans and their attendants are specifically identified. In the right-hand sheet, a tanzaku sheet hangs from the branches of the cherry tree with a poem by Yadoya Meshimori (1753-1830), later known as Rokujuen, founder of the Go-kawa poetry group and an important figure in the kyoka poetry movement. Condition: Very good. Note keyblock lines and two tiny wormholes in each sheet. For extensive report, see Conservator's Report, 11/6/95. As of 5/6/96: Three sheets are matted separately and located in P&D storage, Sh. 10, Box 3G (Size 1 mats).

Brooklyn Museum