Geisha on a Boat Landing

Artist: Torii Kiyonaga 鳥居清長 (1752-1815)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1782
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 70.8 x 12 cm (27 7/8 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, Edo period (1615 - 1868), geisha, hashira-e, Japan, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Pillar prints (hashira-e) were originally produced in the 1740s, and their production peaked in the 1770s. The long, narrow prints were intended for display, and were pasted onto the flat pillars in commoners' homes or mounted as inexpensive hanging scrolls. Artists used the narrow format to provide an alluring glimpse of subjects such as beautiful women, a favorite theme of Japanese print artists, publishers, and consumers. The format of the pillar print effectively complements the slender, elongated proportions of a geisha who is caught in motion as she steps aboard a boat. The artist Kiyonaga was a leading designer of prints of beautiful women (bijinga). In other states of this print, the robe is printed in black. Variations in color blocks are often seen in prints that were so popular that publishers reissued them as "new" images.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 113, pp. 280-281.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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