Eizan: Two beauties
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Kikugawa Eizan (1787-1867)

Large half-length depiction of two Yoshiwara beauties dressed as a courtesan and her young lover at the Niwaka festival. This event was a kind of carnival, taking place every summer in the eighth month. On this occasion the people of the Yoshiwara entertainment district performed dances, processions and theatrical scenes, in various disguises, often with gender cross-dressing.

Title and names not read.

Series: 青楼仁和嘉全盛遊 Seirô Niwaka zensei asobi (The most beautiful plays at the height of the Niwaka festival in the entertainment district)

Signature: KIkugawa Eizan hitsu

Publisher: Mikawaya Seiemon (not listed at Marks, Publishers, No. 328)

Censor: Kiwame

Date: Bunka 4, 8th month (1807)

Size: Vertical Ôban, 38 x 25,7 cm

Excellent impression, colours faded, but still good. Red pigment partly oxidized. Full size, unbacked. Age patina, with minimal soiling. Overall very good condition. Verso in lower corner collector's seal of Felix Frick.
A wonderful early Eizan, visibly influenced by Utamaro's late portrait style. Exceptionally rare, no other copy documented so far.

Series listed by Eiko Kondo, Il mondo di Eizan, Rome 1989, p. 217, No. 225. Not at Marks, Publishers. This publisher's stamp is occasionally also assigned to the publisher Shimizuya (see Kondo, p. 95f, No. 6).