Courtesan of Edo, Left Sheet of a Triptych (Edo, sanpukutsui hidari)
Waterhouse, Images of Eighteenth-Century Japan (1975), #45 (R only, 1st state); TNM Ukiyo-e cat. 1 (1960), #s 117-9 (complete, 2nd state); Gunsaulus, AIC cat. I (1955), p. 72 (uncut, 2nd state); Ukiyo-e taisei 2 (1931), #161 (C only, 2nd state)
Hosoban; 32 x 15.8 cm (12 5/8 x 6 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (urushi-e); ink on paper, with hand-applied color and nikawa
Not On View
In early hosoban triptychs, “left” and “right” often (but not always) mean “proper left” and “proper right,” that is, right and left respectively as seen by the viewer.
The theme of the triptych is “Courtesans of the Three Cities,” with Edo represented in the right sheet, Kyoto in the center sheet, and Osaka in the left sheet. In the second edition, the heads were replaced and their position was reversed; see Waterhouse for discussion of states.
Right sheet, first state: 21.5883
Center sheet, third (?) state: 06.1109
Left sheet, first state: 21.5884
Hirose Shigenobu hitsu
Formerly in the Kobayashi collection; October 1913, purchased by William S. and John T. Spaulding from Frank Lloyd Wright; December 1, 1921, given by William S. and John T. Spaulding to the Museum.
William S. and John T. Spaulding Collection