Login/Register

Artist: Utagawa Sadakage (歌川貞景)

Print: The Pride of Edo Seen in a Collection of Courtesans (江戸自慢全盛揃) -
Hanaōgi (花扇) on the right, Tsukasa (つかさ) in the center, Akome on the left -
all of the Ōgi house (扇屋内)

Bookmark and Share
Dates: circa 1830,created
Dimensions: 12.25 in,14.25 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Gokotei Sadakage ga
五湖亭貞景画
Publisher: Tsuruya Kiemon (Marks 553 - seal 22-066)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - left panel ; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - center panel ; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - right panel ; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - center panel; Lyon Collection - another example;British Museum - Tsukasa of Ōgiya by Eisui, ca. 1797; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Tsukasa of the Higashi-Ōgiya in Osaka, by Chōki in the 1790s; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Tsukasa of Ōgiya by Eisen from the early 1820 - either the same courtesan or her predecessor; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Tsukasa of Ōgiya by Shikimaro from 1813;

Physical description:

This remarkable and powerful design is considered to be one of Sadakage's masterpieces. Although the figures are monumental, Sadakage has managed to create on elegant and delightful image with them. The triptych is as rare as it is beautiful.

****

The courtesan in the center panel, leaning on her elbows to read a book, is Tsukasa of the Ōgiya. Many artists portrayed famous courtesans who were given the honor of using this name. Considering the time frame, they could not all have been of the same woman. A courtesan, even a high-ranking one, would be at the peak of her beauty and skill level for only a few years at most. There for a Tsukasa portrayed by Eisui or Choki in the last few years of the 18th century would not be the same Tsukasa being portrayed here approximately 30 years later. Therefore, a particularly beautiful and sought after woman at the Ōgiya might be honored by being given the same name as a predecessor who was known for her great elegance and style.

We have added a few links above to other women who carried this name and who were portrayed by other great artists.