Takashima Ohisa, from an untitled series of rebus prints

高名美人判じ絵集 「高嶋おひさ」 合わせ鏡

Japanese
Edo period
about 1795 (Kansei 7)
Artist Kitagawa Utamaro I (Japanese, 1753–1806), Publisher Matsumura Tatsuemon (Japanese)


Catalogue Raisonné

Asano and Clark 1995, #212; Ukiyo-e shûka 3 (1978), p. 241, #491.3.1, and pl. 145; Shibui, Ukiyo-e zuten Utamaro (1964), 195.1.3; Ukiyo-e taisei 7 (1931), #232 (2nd edition)

Dimensions

Vertical ôban

Accession Number

1999.228

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

MFA impressions: 21.6410, 1999.228

The square cartouche contains a rebus including Ohisa’s name, which might be read as “Takashima (O)hisa getting dressed in the evening” (Takashima Hisa mijitaku no ban). The narrow rectangular gives hints about her age: “the days when the evening is dark [i.e. the 16th-18th of each month] and the day of the big Asakusa holiday [i.e. the 18th]” (Yoiyami no hi to Asakusa no ômonobi).
The second edition, presumably issued after rebuses had been made illegal, has an inset with iris instead.

Signed

Utamaro hitsu 歌麿筆

Markings

No censor's seal 改印:なし

Provenance

Mary Stevenson Cassatt (b. 1844 - d. 1926); until 1999, by descent within the family of Mary Cassatt; 1999, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession date: June 23, 1999)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift