Courtesan Dreaming on the New Year

Artist: Isoda Koryūsai 磯田湖竜斎 (1735-1790)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1773-1775
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 68.5 x 12 cm (26 15/16 x 4 3/4 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, courtesan, dreaming, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hashira-e, Japan, Mount Fuji, new year, sleeping, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Pillar prints (hashira-e) were intended for display, and were pasted directly onto walls or pillars or mounted as hanging scrolls for a more formal presentation. Images of beautiful women (bijinga) were especially prevalent among the subjects of pillar prints, which flourished from the 1740s until the 1770s, when this print was designed by Koryvsai. Here a courtesan dreams after she has fallen asleep while sitting at her desk. The dream, which is represented as rising from her heart, is of Mount Fuji, a falcon, and eggplants, all auspicious symbols for the New Year. This design may have been published for display on the New Year.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 111, pp. 276-277.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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