EISEN, Keisai (1790-1848). Courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya Pleasure House.
Original woodblock, printed in Japan, c.1825. 380 x 250 mm.
Courtesan Yosooi of Matsubaya pleasure house beneath cherry blossoms in the evening. The beauty is depicted wearng an elaborate kimono with an extravagant design of a phoenix on the back, from which only the upper half of her face is seen from behind the high collar. Two large lanterns are shown behind her to the right and left. The various cartouch in purple and pink on the cherry blossoms have the inscriptions of the courtesan's name 'Yossoi', the name of the Pleasure house she belongs to 'Matsubaya-nai' etc. It is done as though the cartouche are wishing tags - those traditionally used during the tanabata season where people write poetry and their wishes, and tie them to branches during this period. Top left blue cartouche shows the series title. Artist signature, censor seal and publisher seal on the bottom left of the image.