Portrait of a Courtesan
Chōbunsai Eishi, Japanese, 1756 - 1829
Social Tagscherry blossom [x] courtesan [x] crane [x] drawing [x] edo [x] fabric [x] female figure [x] good luck symbol [x] ink [x] japanese artist [x] japanese lettering [x] japanese text [x] kimono [x] naka no cho [x] ota nampo [x] painted fabric [x] painted silk [x] poem [x] poetry [x] silk [x] symbolism [x] turtle [x] ukiyo-e [x]
[Add Your Own Tags]
The decorative symbols on the kimono—cranes and turtles—are auspicious emblems for long life, often used at New Year's celebrations. The poem, written by Ota Nampo (1749–1823), reads (translated): "Beside the / Flowering Cherries / Of Naka no cho Not a single / Tree from the / Deep mountain valleys."
"Naka no cho" was the main avenue in the pleasure quarters of Edo (present-day Tokyo). The poem implies that no uncultivated country woman would be found among the sophisticated beauties of this area.
The textile mount around the painting is from a kimono; its pattern echoes the mountain valley of the poem.