Anonymous Edo period (1615-1868), second half of the 17th century

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Lot 183* TP
Anonymous
Edo period (1615-1868), second half of the 17th century

Sold for £ 8,750 (US$ 11,596) inc. premium
Anonymous
Edo period (1615-1868), second half of the 17th century
A six-panel chubyobu (medium-size folding screen), ink, colours, and gold on paper, depicting a samurai mansion in Kyoto in use as a house of pleasure: at right three servants, male and female, bring food and drink to a large party surrounding a drunken guest, including both women in elaborately tie-dyed garments and wakashu (young men) in fancy robes with long-hilted swords, the remaining panels featuring a garden with a flowering cherry-tree in which a monk perches watching a young girl tying poems to the branches, one group of three and another group of two elegantly attired wakashu approaching a waterfall which descends from a pine-clad cliff and at far left three women, one of the them brandishing an exaggeratedly long kiseru (tobacco pipe). 122cm x 287.2cm (48in x 113¼in).

Footnotes

  • The overall composition of this lot, with a mansion at right and a garden with a waterfall to the left, echoes the right-hand half of a remarkable pair of smaller screens of Amusements in a Mansion recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and currently on display in the Japanese Galleries (inv. no.2017.37.1, .2); the similarities even extend to certain details such as the tipsy guest (in the Metropolitan screen a Buddhist monk but in the present lot a wealthy member of the samurai or merchant class) seated on the corner of the engawa (veranda) surrounded by young people who ply him with food, drink, and flattery. As in the Metropolitan screen, the participants in the merrymaking include not only female entertainers but also young male escorts of the 'third gender' of wakashu, considered potential sexual partners for both older men and women, dressed in costumes almost as gorgeous as those sported by the female entertainers. The depiction of wakashu in Edo-period art is the subject of the current exhibition at Japan Society, New York, 'A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints'.
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Anonymous Edo period (1615-1868), second half of the 17th century
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