Photo © Photography: John Tsantes and Neil Greentree © Robert Feinberg
Gallery Text

This intimate early floating-world painting offers the viewer a scripted opportunity to participate in an imaginary visit to a Yoshiwara teahouse, from arrival and greeting (at right) to a night spent with a courtesan (far left). Between these moments, teahouse workers bustle around the heart of the establishment preparing a meal. Although the figures are individualized by gestures and postures, their faces are relatively neutral, leaving space for projection. The blurred boundaries at the edges imbue the scene with a gentle, dreamlike quality.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
TL42147.2
People
Hishikawa Moronobu, Japanese (Hodamura, Awa Province d. 1694 Edo)
Title
Early Evening at a Yoshiwara Inn
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
Date
late 17th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Period
Edo period, 1615-1868
Culture
Japanese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/12237
Location
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Dimensions
painting proper: H. 33 × W. 79.7 cm (13 × 31 3/8 in.)
overall mounting, including roller ends and suspension cord: H. 133.4 × W. 99.7 cm (52 1/2 × 39 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • seal: on folding screen depicted: Hishikawa
  • inscription: on folding screen depicted: Hishikawa Moronobu hitsu
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
TL42147.2
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Kobayashi Tadashi, The Yoshiwara Pleasure Quarters, Kokka, Kokkasha (July 2000), 1257

Kobayashi Tadashi, Imaging the floating world : essays on Ukiyoe prints and paintings of the Edo period (Tokyo, Japan, 2009), pp. 18-19

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 144-145, cat. 71

Rachel Saunders, "Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection", Orientations, Orientations Magazine (Hong Kong, January/February 2020), vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 20-33, p. 24, fig. 4

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 33, fig. 17

Exhibition History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 05/21/2013 - 07/15/2013; Miho Museum, 07/20/2013 - 08/18/2013; Tottori Prefectural Museum, 10/05/2013 - 11/10/2013

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 05/31/2015

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 07/18/2021

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu