A Tipsy Courtesan from Fukagawa

Color woodblock print: aiban uchiwa-e, 9¼ x 11⅝ in. (23.5 x 29.5 cm); circa 1830
Series: Three Fashionable Tipplers (Fūzoku san-nin namayoi)
Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga

This half-length portrait depicts a hard-drinking Fukagawa geisha imbibing wine from a crystal goblet in one hand—its sparkling surface lovingly detailed in mica by the printer—with a porcelain cup of sake ready in the other. She wears the plain, brown-and-black plaid robes and relatively simple coiffure affected by the women from the area. In the background, Kunisada renders a pastiche of a Chinese-style ink landscape. It depicts a sage riding his mule up a path towards a palace built by the shores of a lake, which is printed in the newly fashionable Prussian blue. The title references the classical theme of the Three Vinegar Tasters (Sake-sui sankyō)—Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Confucius—who often appear in Chinese and Japanese ink painting, as does just this type of landscape.

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