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Keisai Eisen, 1790-1848
Grass On the Way of Love: Ueno Teahouse Waitress
(Koi no Michikusa- Ueno Kai Eri Ni Yoru Chaya Musume)
the eighth design from an album of twelve prints; a teahouse waitress at Ueno tries to resist the advances of an amorous customer, a small porcelain cup is knocked over in the struggle, ca. 1825-28
oban yoko-e 10 1/4 by 14 5/8 in., 26 by 37 cm
The waitress is not compliant and protests: "Somebody might be coming!" but he insists "Take the bottom off!" and manages to lift her kimono hem.
The son of the calligrapher and poet Ikeda Shigeharu, Eisen studied painting with Kano Hakkeisai, a senior student at the Kano Eisen-in studio. He later boarded at the house of the genre painter, Kikugawa Eijiri (where he met Eijiri's second son, the artist Kikugawa Eizan (1787-1867). Although they were only four years apart, according to Richard Lane, he became Eizan's student who gave him the name Eisen in 1816. Eizan was a friend of Totoya Hokkei (1780-1850), a leading student of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Both Eizan and Eisen display considerable influence from Hokusai, particularly in their shunga compositions. Lane notes that although Eisen developed his own ukiyo-e style which was influenced by Eizan, his shunga prints display greater influence from his 'true' masterHokusai.
Fukuda, Ukiyo-e no higi ga, 1978, p. 111
Hayashi and Lane (eds.), The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga, no. 14, Eisen, 1997, p. 40
Calza, Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories, 2010, pp. 417-418, 430