Woodblock prints of the Edo period (1615–1868) frequently depicted the seductive courtesans and exciting kabuki actors of the urban pleasure districts, and were often referred to as ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world.” In the Museum’s collection is a polychrome woodblock print by Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753–1806), one of the most accomplished artists of the genre of portrayals of beautiful women. The sensual scene depicts a man and a woman lounging in a private chamber, each figure wrapped in layers of richly patterned kimono fabrics amid elegant bedclothes. We have adapted several of these textile patterns for our scarf.
Silk crępe de chine. Imported. 64'' x 18''.
- Silk crępe de chine
- 64'' X 18''
Art HistoryDuring the Edo period (1615–1868), the harshly controlled feudal society governed for over 250 years by the descendants of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616), creativity came not from its leaders, a conservative military class, but from the two lower classes in the Confucian social hierarchy, the artisans and merchants. Although officially denigrated, they were free to reap the economic and social benefits of this prosperous age.