Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

courtesans reading and writing
  • Katsukawa Shunshō, artist
    active: Japan
    Kitao Shigemasa, artist
    born: Edo (present-day Tokyo), Japan
  • courtesans reading and writing, 1776, Edo period (1600–1868)
  • (Mirror for Comparison of Green House Beauties)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • color woodcut
  • Mat Dimensions: 14 x 19 in
  • William Bridges Thayer Memorial
  • Not on display
  • 1928.7586.a,b

Horizontal composition of interior scene with three women. Woman at bottom left lounges on the tatami mat practicing calligraphy, a sheet of paper and tray with calligraphy implements sits in front of her. Woman at center reads a book in her hands while kneeling. Woman at right lounges against a small, low table, reading. Tokonoma in background with small display table, two stacked boxes, and the bottom of a hanging scroll. Cabinets visible at upper right. Women are dressed in layers of elaborate kimono with many pins in their hair. Text next to each woman.