Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Woman and child holding a kimono

Glossary (2)

kimono, vegetable pigments

  • kimono

    Kimonos, or 'the thing worn' in Japanese, had seasonal designs. The style of kimonos would change four times a year, and winter kimonos would be padded.

  • vegetable pigments

    Vegetable pigments were used to create coloured dyes for Japanese prints, paintings, and textiles. These pigments often faded over time due to the chemical reactions they underwent.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • Beauties of the Four Seasons by Mitsuko Watanabe

    Beauties of the Four Seasons

    The precise dates of Isoda Koryūsai are unknown but he was active as an artist from the end of the Hōreki (1751-64) to the beginning of the Kansei (1789-1801) periods. Koryūsai worked in the style of Suzuki Harunobu, using the name Suzuki Haruhiro, until Harunobu’s death in 1770. Koryūsai then created his own style and became one of the most popular artists for prints of beauties during the Anei period (1772-81), helping to establish the ōban size [see EAX.3954] print. He also excelled particularly in the hashira-e (pillar print), which was designed for hanging on interior pillars of Japanese houses. He later received the honorific title, 'Hokkyō', in recognition of his contribution to the art world.

    The use of pale colours and the depiction of the lady and child is reminiscent of the Harunobu style. The woman is holding a new kimono, as if showing it to an invisible viewer, helped by the child; one of the sanseki no uta (the three poems on autumn evenings) by the Monk Jakuren (Fujiwara no Sadanaga) is inscribed on the sleeve.

    The colours have faded and the colour of the sleeve was probably originally a greyish-purple.

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