We have expanded our collection with the following new shunga pieces…
‘Orgy with 5 couples‘ (c.1822) from the series ‘Makura bunko (Pillow Library)‘ by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)
Five Intimate Couples
The Pillow Library by Keisai Eisen is famous for its anatomical drawings and close-up designs of genitalia during the various stages of love-making. The above illustration is one of the best double-page designs in this series depicting five intimate couples in the different phases of love-making.
This scene recalls Kunisada’s horrifying masterpiece that might have inspired Yoshinobu. An unrelenting image of a woman who has been tied to a tree and while being raped by a ruffian. To make it even more uncomfortable he is identifying himself by taking off his headscarf. Unfortunately I don’t have the translation of the Japanese text because it makes you curious; She turns her head away in horror. Does she know him or is she is just afraid to remember his face?
After some exhausting love-making a couple tries to cool down. Utamaro shows his mastery in the facial expressions and his sense of humor in the fleeing mouse in the right corner.
During a hot summer afternoon a wildly passionate young couple are making love. In their enthusiasm they have become entwined in the mosquito-netting. Stylistically, this design tends towards the Eishi school and could very well be an early design by the student Chokyosai Eiri.
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