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

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Courtesans relaxing in the afternoon

Glossary (2)

nishiki-e, vegetable pigments

  • nishiki-e

    Nishiki-e literally means 'brocade pictures' and refers to multi-coloured woodblock prints.

  • 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

    Courtesans gathered chatting on the veranda of a Green House with the shōji (sliding doors made with paper) open, on a cheerful sunny day. Even the cat seems to be relaxed. In the background Shunchō has, most unusually, used geometrical perspective, showing the details of the structure of a Green house of the period, easily divided into small rooms suitable for small parties.

    During the Edo era, the style and thickness of kimono was changed four times a year. These girls are wearing awase (lined kimono) which were worn in early summer and late autumn. The design of chrysanthemum on the kimono of the central standing girl may relate to the Chrysanthemum Festival in September.

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