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

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Courtesan placing a pin in her hair (without an inscription in the partially unrolled scroll)

Glossary (3)

gauffrage, nishiki-e, vegetable pigments

  • gauffrage

    Decorative embossing technique. In Japanese prints, it is also sometimes called 'blind printing'.

  • 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

    A Courtesan is looking slightly upwards to her right with a pin in her left hand to scratch her hair. The title of the series written in the top-left corner is on a partly unrolled scroll in which there is no inscription, as there had been in earlier versions of this series. This print was partly re-coloured by hand as the print had faded. For instance, the outer kimono was originally red and white with asanoha-kanoko (spotted hemp leaf pattern), the middle kimono was stronger in colour with a different design and the obi was yellow. This version is, however, aesthetically more pleasing with an elegant summery mood, and the design of peony is nicely combined with the reddish and pinkish colours. The white under-garment of the kimono is embossed in gauffrage and has a sayagata (geometric) motif, beautifully done.

    Many parts of this print have been re-touched by hand.

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