Jul 17, 2014

Three Courtesans with a Client

Three Courtesans with a Client


Okumura Masanobu 奥村 政信

(Japanese, 1686-1764)

Color woodblock print

Sheet: 26.5 x 37.7 cm (10 7/16 x 14 13/16 in.)

The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.337



This double-page book illustration is called a sumizuri (meaning to print with sumi ink on paper). It may be an adaptation of a picture book by Kiyonobu I titled Keisei ehon, or Illustrated Book of Courtesans, portraying the most glamorous people in the ukiyo-e world. Masanobu had the greatest influence on the development of the ukiyo-e style during the first half of the 1700s. A publisher, print designer, and painter, he initiated new genres of prints such as the "perspective picture" (uki-e).

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