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Beneath the Willow

Beneath the Willow

after 1778

Tsukioka Sessai

(Japanese, 1839)

Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper

Overall: 94 x 33.2 cm (37 x 13 1/16 in.)

The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.273

Description

Two young women cool themselves by a river as a willow blows in the breeze. One crouches down to rinse a hand towel, while the other sits with her chin balanced on her fan. Beside her is a black lacquer tray with a floral design in gold, holding her tobacco kit. Tsukioka Tessai was an Osaka-based ukiyo-e artist who was especially respected for his representations of beautiful women (bijin). The court bestowed upon him the rank Bridge of the Law (hokyo) in 1778, and he was eventually elevated in rank to Eye of the Law (hogen).

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