Re: \;#19968;\;#24029; \;#33459;\;#2

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Posted by Hans Olof Johansson ( on October 02, 2014 at 15:16:36:

In Reply to: Re: \;#19968;\;#24029; \;#33459;\;#2 posted by Laure Villepelet on September 30, 2014 at 11:01:27:

Dear Laure,

This is most certainly not a triptych, because the title would hardly be repeated on every panel of a triptych. The three sheets belong to a series of separate prints portraying various girls working in the entertainment business of Edo, probably in the district of Yoshiwara.

Consequently, I wouldn't expect to find a "narrative composition". Prints like these were probably sold in Yoshiwara, and perhaps also elsewhere in Edo, to men who wanted a souvenir from an evening or a night in company with one of these girls.

The word 'geisha' is seldom used to describe women portrayed in ukiyo-e prints, as it has had many different meanings throughout the centuries, describing everything from common prostitutes to skilled musicians and dancers. I guess that the East Asian Museum of Stockholm used that word because they simply couldn't tell if the girl in their print was a courtesan, a teahouse girl, a famous musical performer or something else.

The scenes in the background, displayed through thin paper screens like shadow play, are probably there to illustrate various aspects of life in Yoshiwara, from a sophisticated musical performance to a common row between a woman and her customer.

As for the Tsuji-yasu mark, it's the seal of the publisher Tsuji-ya Yasubei. The censor's seal is the circular one above the publisher's mark, but I can't see it clearly enough in any of the images.

Best regards,
Hans Olof

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