Keisai Eisen 渓斎英泉 (1790–1848)
An Urban Couple Amidst their Clothing
From the series Picture Book: The Beautiful Grass of Women (Ehon fukamigusa)
Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), c. 1823
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Purchase, Richard Lane Collection, 2003

Approximately six years after Katsushika Hokusū (active c. 1800s–1830s) published his series The Safflower Princess (Suetsumuhana, c. 1817), on display to the left, Eisen appropriated this image from it. The poses of Eisen’s figures are virtually identical to those by Hokusū. Rather than depicting the characters in a field surrounded by foliage and bundles of grain, however, Eisen reimagines them in a standard interior setting and frames them with discarded clothing and crumpled wads of tissue.

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