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Selection From the Collection of Chiba City Museum of Art XX

更新日:11月8日


The exhibition selected from the permanent collection is on view from Oct.5~Nov.6, 2022.



It includes Japanese paintings and woodblock prints from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, artworks related to Chiba City and Boso Area, and contemporary art since 1945.


⁂Paintings of beauties "


The title of the hanging scroll of paper above is "Standing Beauty" by KAIGETSUDO Ando 懐月堂安度 (the date of the birth and dead unknown). Ando established Kaigetsudo school of ukiyo-e art and focused on drawing bijin-ga (a type of Ukiyo-e portraying beautiful women) of the Yoshiwara, Edo's pleasure district. Ando's studio dominated the bijin-ga market then.

He depicted elaborate patterns on the courtesan's kimono in brilliant colors with strong brush strokes. Plump bodies, rounded face, and rolling back figure is also his distinctive style. Prints were produced by co-work with deciples between 1704 and 1716.

He never made woodblock prints.

Unfortunately his career ended up banishing from Edo(江戸から追放された) and exiled to Izu Oshiima Island in 1714, being involved in a scandal. Since he got a pardon in 1722, he became a haiku poet.


The title of the hanging scroll of silk above is "Two Beauties" by MIZUNO Rocho 水野蘆朝 (1748~1836)

He produced many paints of bijin-ga while he served as a retainer of the shougun(旗本) for nearly 50 years.

He depicted two women, one was holding red sake cups and the other, a hot pot. We can guess they were heading for happy events.

It was produced between 1804 and 1818.


⁂Prints by KEISAI Eisen 渓斎英泉(1791~1848)


KEISAI Eisen (1790~1848) depicted a plenty of bijin-ga (a type of Ukiyo-e portraying beautiful women) of Courtesans at Yoshiwara with beautiful patterns of kimono and general women with strong originality in decadent and sensual expressions. He excelled at depicting landscape, too.

His personal history was filled with abundance of experiences:

He was born in samurai family. He studied painting under Kano school at twelve, started serving government at 16 or 17, was dismissed because he had a quarrel with his superior there, and became an apprentice of Kyogen (a form of traditional Japanese comic theater). At twenty his father and the stepmother died. (His own mother died when he was six.) Consequentry he had to make a living. He studied painting under KIKUKAWA Eizan菊川英山 and developed his own unique style.

In his late days he compiled biographies of the "Ukiyo-e Ruiko 浮世絵類考 (History of Prints of the Floating World)

After Tenpo reform(1841~1843)which restricted leisure activities among citizens, he had his disciples produce ukiyo-e and became a writer of kokkeibon, literally "comical book" which depicted the comical behavior in regular citizens' lives in the Edo era.

He ran a brothel, or a house of prostitution.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Observing Regular Customers with Pleasures, from the series Forty-eight Habits in the Floating World".

Eisen depicted a young woman having her hairdo made up, who couldn't wait for seeing her favorite actor.

The print was published around in 1821.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Sake from the series Eight Favourite Things in the Modern World" You'll see a red sake cup at the upper-left, with letters Kensake(けん酒) on it. Kensake was a game between a courtesan and a guest, After they played Janken to decide victory or defeat, the looser had to drink a cup of sake.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Fashions of Women of the Social Classes: Warriors, Farmers, Craftsmen, and Merchants" Eisen depicted beauties likened to the people under the hierarchy of Samurai warriors, farmers, artisans, and merchants (shi-no-ko-sho) in the Edo period. Samurai warriors ranked top while merchants, in the lowest.

It was published between 1818 and 1830.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Courtesans of Yoshiwara and their Attendants Enjoying Themselves". Look at the big meal! You'll see three senior courtesans, kamuro and shinzo (their subordinates) being in the midst of the party. Since never courtesans alone did feast, Eisen depicted a fictional world.

It was published between 1818 and 1830.



⁂Prints by YAMAMOTO Shoun 山本昇雲 (1870~1965)


YAMAMOTO Shoun (1870~1965) was a ukiyo-e painter, Japanese-style painter, and lithographer.

After he spent drawing pictures on ceramic ware for a couple of years in Osaka, he moved to Tokyo at the age of 17, where he studied Nanga (a school of painting originating in China) with TAKI Katei 瀧和亭. He once posted his picture for a magazine "Fuzoku Gaho 風俗画報" (Manners & Customs in pictures) in 1894 (Meiji 27). And he was headhunted by Toyodo (東洋堂), a publishing company as illustrator. His numerous numbers of illustrations and frontispieces (口 絵) got high reputations. Then he became an ukiyo-e designer under MATSUKI Heikichi (松木平吉), a publisher. After he finished his career as illustrator in 1912 (大正元年), he focused on Japanese paintings and showed paintings such as bijin-ga and kacho-ga (bird-and flower paintings) at the Bunten Exhibition.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Hanging Persimmons, from the series Fashions of Today 今姿". Isn't it cute to see a little boy stretching his hand to dried persimmons, while the mother is holding him up with a calm and merciful eyes?

It was published in December 1906 (Meiji39) by MATSUKI Heikichi, a publisher.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Letter, from the series Fashions of Today 今姿" Shoun depicted a courtesan in kimono of gorgeous patterns. No doubt the letter was from a special person to her!

It was published in 1906 (Meiji39) by MATSUKI Heikichi, a publisher.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Bush Clover Garden, from the series of Fashions of Today 今姿". Shoun depicted children with lively and natural expressions.

It was published in March 1909 (Meiji42) by MATSUKI Heikichi, a publisher.


The title of the woodblock print above is "Butterflies, from the series Fashions of Today

今姿)". Shoun depicted a woman talking to the baby in the basket with the motherly care.

It was published in March 1909 (Meiji42) by MATSUKI Heikichi, a publisher.



More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access      https://www.tokyo2020chiba.com/post/shall-we-see-the-museum


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