Artist: Ichirakutai Eisui (一楽亭栄水)

Print: The courtesan Hanaōgi (花扇) of the Ōgi House (扇屋内) - Ōgiya uchi Hanaōgi

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Dates: 1790s,created
Dimensions: 10.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print

Signed: Ichirakutai Eisui ga
Publisher: Maruya Bun'emon (Marks 292 - 08-131 seal )

Related links: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Tokyo National Museum; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna ;

Physical description:

Bust portrait of the Oiran Hanaogi from the Ogi-ya house. In her right hand she is holding a transparent fan. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston dates this image to ca. 1796-98.

Sadly, there are few remaining records of Eisui’s career. He was a pupil of Hosoda Eishi (1756-1829), clearly echoing the master’s style depicting beautiful women [bijin-ga]. Eisui is particularly remembered for for his bust portrait (ōkubi-e) series of famous courtesans of the day. Eisui’s Beauties of the 5 Festivals [Bijin gosekku] of the later 1790s is very similar in format to this print’s untitled series of courtesan close-ups of select brothels’ celebrities. These beautiful women are depicted holding a variety of feminine items, such as the transparent round-fan seen here, that also serve to demonstrate the skill of the printmaking artisans.

from Ukiyo-e Prints in the Mike Lyon Collection by Cori Sherman North