VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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“Playing with the dolls” from “Ten Kinds of Modern Love of Children”.
919 I
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Each print from this series has different famous townscapes of Edo shown in cartouches in the corners. This one depicts Shiba Park, where tha main monuments of interest are the Zojoji Temple founded in 1590 by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and the shrine of several Tokugawa shoguns. Adjacent to the temple is the cemetery of children, who were born dead or became the victims of abortion. The artist chose these monuments not by chance, as the name of the series includes the word kodakara, which figuratively means “precious offspring” or could be translated as “the blessing of having children”. The picture of Shiba park has double implication: on the one hand it is an advertisement of Sen’ichi printing house, which was situated near Shiba park and published thee engravings. The writing in the cartouche, which reads “Sen’ichi/printing house/, which is in front of the shrine in Shiba/park/”, tells right that.

History of the Object
The series entitled ‘Ten Kinds of Modern Love of Children” consists of prints depicted beautiful women looking after the children. One of the sheets, preserved in the Museum’s collection, portrays a small girl playing anesama (elder sister) dolls, folded from paper. Such dolls appear in Japan already in the Heian period (794 – 1185). They served as protection and were often offered at the temples to avert disease from children. Miniature screen and casket with needlework stand in front of the girl.

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Type
Print 
Materials
Paper, colour woodblock print. 
Measurements
37,5 x 25,7 cm 
Creator name
Keisai Eisen 
Creator date
(1790 – 1848) 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
1820 
Function
 
Acquisition
 
Copyright
The State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow 
Acknowledgements
Keisai Eisen, son of Shigeharu, a calligrapher from Edo, studied painting of the Kano school, and later moved to the studio of Kikugawa Eizan. He specialized in theatrical prints and pictures of beauties, made several landscape series, and wrote comprehensive biography of ukiyo-e artists. 
Owner
The State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow 
Museum
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Credit line
The State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow 

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