Beauties of the Seasons—Summer

Artist: Chōbunsai Eishi 鳥文斎栄之 (1756-1829)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 19th century
Ink, color and gold on silk
H x W (image): 98.4 × 38.3 cm (38 3/4 × 15 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

courtesan, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, shamisen, summer, ukiyo-e, willow tree, woman
Provenance research underway.

Paintings of this type were often made in sets, showing beautiful women in the four seasons of the year. In this painting, a geisha, or professional entertainer, walks with her attendant who carries the case containing her musical instrument, a three-stringed shamisen.  A circular fan and the graceful willows denote the summer season.

Born to a family of governmental officials, Eishi specialized in paintings and prints of women, having studied painting with a master of the professional Kano school. His training is apparent in the precision and fine detail with which he renders textile patterns and facial features.

Published References
  • Klaus Joachim Brandt. Hosoda Eishi (1756-1829): Der japanische Maler und Holzschnittmeister und seine Schuler. Stuttgart. cat. 464.
  • Elisabeth West FitzHugh. A Pigment Census of Ukiyo-e Paintings in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 11 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1979. pp. 27-38.
  • Harold P. Stern. Ukiyo-e Painting: Freer Gallery of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington and Baltimore, 1973. cat. 79, pp. 214-215.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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