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Asian Art
Artist: Kawamata Tsunemasa, Japanese, active ca. 1716–48

Lady at the Bath

ca. 1716–48

Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper (handpainted ukiyo-e)

without mounting: 34 × 9 15/16 in. (86.4 × 25.3 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Olsen, Mr. and Mrs. Laurens Hammond, and Mr. and Mrs. Knight Woolley, B.A. 1917
1967.64.223
This rare work by the relatively unknown artist Kawamata Tsunemasa is an early example of pictures of the “floating world” (ukiyo-e), a term assigned to paintings and prints depicting urban life and its enjoyments, such as the theater and the demimonde. The image of the young woman removing her pink kimono just before stepping into a wooden bathtub belongs to a subgenre known as “painting in a danger zone” (abuna-e), which is suggestive but not quite erotic. The artist’s signature is written discreetly on the border of a black obi sash hanging from the kimono rack, and a thin cotton towel known as a tenugui rests on the edge of the tub.
Geography: 
Japan
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

K. Watanabe Collection, Tokyo; Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1967 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.