Today we’ll examine a Japanese erotic scroll that consists of 5 hand paintings on silk. It was created during the Meiji era and displays an outstanding artistic quality. As shunga were seen as pornography and therefore strictly prohibited in this era (and after) they are not signed.
Calves and Knuckles
What immediately stands out is the unique style of figure painting. Particularly, the hands and feet are drawn in a distinctive expressive style. But also, the attention to detail of the facial areas and the depiction of the muscles (especially the calves and the knuckles) are really striking.
The same applies to the landscapes in the background which are also of extraordinary quality. They match with the style and characteristics of Takeuchi Seiho‘s works*. Although of the latter (as far as I know) no erotic work is known.
Each painting measures around 13 3/4″ x 16 1/2″ inches.
In the living room we see a couple engaged in the “Lazy man” pose with the female sitting on her partner’s lap (Fig.1). She is straddling his waist while he leans against the windowsill with a pillow behind his back. An amusing detail is how the woman rubs one of her breasts along his ear (Fig.1b).
On the Dresser
An impulsive rendezvous (Fig.2) with the male lifting his attractive female lover on the dresser while penetrating her.
Among the rice straws, a chubby peasant girl is having a secret intimate affair with a lover wearing a cap (Fig.3).
During a hot summer day an aroused couple is completely absorbed in their sensuality (Fig.4). The loosened mosquito-net emphasizes their untameable passion.
Older mature lady with younger lover in the “Champagne room” pose** (Fig.5). The attention to detail is superb; the hand (and feet) gestures are aptly displayed and tell us about her inner sensations.
Click HERE for more realistic sensuality in a similar style….!!
*Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942) was a leading Shijō school painter in Kyōto. He was one of the founders of the nihonga genre that originates from about 1900 onwards, that fuses the traditional Japanese artistic conventions with the realistic Western painting style. Seiho visited the famous Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, and traveled around Europe, where he studied Western art. An important influence was the English Romantic painter William Turner. Seiho’s favorite subjects were animals – often in funny poses, such as a monkey riding on a horse. He was also famous for his landscapes.
** term invented by Women’s Health magazine
Are you a fan of this more naturalistic style of painting or do you prefer the understated traditional style? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below…!!