Following the article from last Friday we were approached by the owner of the Hosoda Eishi scroll that was displayed at the British Museum exhibition in 2013/14. The collector prefers to remain anonymous but he was kind enough to send us pictures of all five paintings in this extremely rare scroll.
Chinese and Dutch Traders
It consists of lavishly executed shunga paintings, using high-quality pigments, gold and gold-leaf. They display sexual couplings between Chinese and European (read Dutch) traders and Japanese courtesans, alternately in the Chinese settlement and on the island of Dejima.
The “mise en scene” displays appropriate exotic costumes, furnishing and accouterments, as well as a pet monkey and dog. Two of the scenes offer panoramic views of Nagasaki bay and trading ships.
The artist responsible for these excellent works is Hosoda Eishi (1756-1829), who is considered one of the best portraitists of female beauty in Japanese history. He was of high-ranking samurai birth. From the late 1780s he designed ukiyo-e prints and books, and from about 1800 onward he devoted himself entirely to the production of autograph brush paintings. His style was refined and elegant, built as it was on his rigorous training in the academic Edo Kano school.
In the catalogue of the British Museum only three of the five paintings are depicted. So you have the scoop to now look at all five in their full beauty…
Dressed in rich historical costume, the couple evoke the Tang Emperor Xuanzong (AD 685-762) and his beautiful consort Yang Guifei playing the same dragon-headed flute together. The furnishings and fittings are all exotically Chinese.
A Chinese male with his pants down is about to penetrate a Japanese sex worker. She seeks support and pushes the geisha pillow (takamakura) under her neck. At the right (next to the green cloth) lies a traditional musical instrument called koto.
Mixed oriental rendezvous with a Chinese male making love “doggy-style” to a Japanese geisha. The man is completely nude except for his Ming Dynasty-style headdress. His other hat is hanging on the hatstand.
In this painting Eishi pays a lot of attention to the Western clothing of the male such as the European coat, breeches, stockings and shoes. These are depicted with a satin-like sheen. The accuracy of details can be found, for example, in the gold-colored embroidery on the red shoe.
The masturbating monkey sitting on a plateau in the corner is a funny detail. The purple box below the plateau is the cage in which he was transported.
The room is furnished in European style with couch, framed picture, a barometer (?) and glass windows opening out onto Dutch ships in Nagasaki harbor. An amusing detail is the small dog humping the heel of the male.
Click HERE for more exciting images of Westerners having intercourse with Japanese women of pleasure…!!
This scroll is available for sale*. The price is Euro 75.000,-. You can inquire about this piece by clicking HERE…!!
*Additional note by the owner of these paintings: “They are separate paintings on silk, one is marked with Eishi’s seal and that signature is marked by the BM as authentic. The back sides have the original backing paper with gold powder and through those backs you can also see that these five belonged together (paper structure continues). Clearly from a longer scroll (12 paintings?) – nobody knows where the others are.”
Source: ‘Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art‘ by the British Museum
Let us know what you think about these paintings in the comment box below….!!