Art on Tuesday: Scene at the Tama River

Yashima Gakutei Yashima Gakutei 八島岳亭 (1786-1868), a Japanese artist painted this ukiyo e (woodblock print) in approximately 1830. He was a famous follower of Hokusai Katsushika 北斎葛飾 and specialized in so-called surimono, private Japanese prints for an educated audience with extravagant themes and style. Yashima Gakutei also was known for his poetry and writing skills.

This ukiyo-e shows a scene of a lady, probably a geisha, washing her clothes in the Tama River. In the background another person is washing clothes in a tub. Two men are carrying wet linen on a stick back from the water to a drying place. The woman in the front is standing with her bare feet on a stone, treating a piece of her clothes by trampling on it. At the riverbank you see her washing tub.

The mountain scenery in the background is delightful, weather is fine and the river flows smoothly with clear blue water.

The picture is framed with detailed ornaments, repeating the color of the picture: mainly blue, green, beige with red contrasting details, highlighting a rich pattern of the kimono of the front lady.

As a whole the picture looks very colorful, lively and harmonious. On the left side is a fan. The vertical Japanese text describes the scene.

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