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Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)
A high-ranking courtesan (Oiran) sitting on her futon, a headrest beside her. In the landscape cartouche three travellers on a narrow path above the sea coast.
Series: Keisei dôchû sugoroku – Mitate Yoshiwara gojûsan tsui (A Tôkaidô baord game of courtesans – Fifty-three pairings in the Yoshiwara)
Title: Shirasuka – Ebiya uchi Azumaji (東路) (Shirasuka station – Azumaji from the Ebiya house)
Signature: Keisai Eisen ga
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizô (Koeidô), Edo
Size: Vertical Ôban, 36,9 x 24,5 cm (overall)
Excellent impression and colours. Minimall trimming at left and top. Unobtrusive horizontal centerfold. Paper damage, professionally restored, at lower right corner. Backed. Overall very good condition.
Rare image from this important bijin series by the artist. Remarkably, there are two variants: the more frequently seen one names the courtesan as Matsuura from the Matsuya, while the present print gives the name of the (otherwise unchanged) beauty as Azumaji from the Ebiya. It cannot be said with certainty which of the two is the earlier state (Chiba City Museum is also undecided about it).
Cf. National Diet Library, info:ndljp/pid/1304949 (Azumaji, Ebiya). Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, 2012, p. 201, no. 249 (Matsuura), and p. 287 no. 189-33 (both variants listed). Cf. MFA Boston, Bigelow Coll., Nr. 11.25563 (Matsuura).