Jul 29, 2014

Benevolence, from The Five Virtues

Benevolence, from The Five Virtues

五常の内 仁


Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信

(Japanese, 1724-1770)

Color woodblock print

Sheet: 27.6 x 20.4 cm (10 7/8 x 8 1/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Madeleine Hamill in memory of Lawrence Hamill 1949.124



This print belongs to a series of five depicting the cardinal virtues of Confucianism. In this image, a courtesan demonstrates benevolence by shaving her attendant’s neck. The other virtues are righteousness, decorum, knowledge, and fidelity. A poem at the top reads as follows: "If you would dwell on the path of the heart, / that is kind to others, / then must you not also be someone, / who suppresses even her own name?"

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