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Print: Geisha and wakasha at Matsumoto Tea House

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Dates: circa 1794 - 1795,created
Dimensions: 9.82 in,14.565 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print
Inscription: Publisher: Iwatoya Kisaburō (岩戸屋喜三郎 Marks 173)
Seal: Iwa (Marks 08-151)

Related links: Viewing Japanese Prints;

Physical description: The image above illustrates the left-hand sheet of an ôban-format triptych by Chôbunsai Eishi (1756-1829) published by Iwatoya Kisaburô c. early 1790s. It depicts a geisha with her two female attendants (one carrying a samisen case) and a wakashu (an elegant young man) leading the way while holding a paper lantern. They are about the enter the garden of the Matsumoto Teahouse whose gate is just visible at the far right. The center and right-hand sheets (not shown here) depict three standing women greeting the entertainers and a woman serving food to two others. In Eishi's print the geisha wears a kimono indicative of the restraint associated with iki. It shows a simple pattern of leaves against a russet ground; even her obi is an unpatterned orange. Eishi's composition has a peaceful and sophisticated aspect that is the hallmark of his style.

-- John Fiorillo, Viewing Japanese Prints