Yamaguchi Soken: Beauties Boxed Notecards
Twenty assorted 5 x 7 in. blank notecards (5 each of 4 designs) with envelopes in a decorative box.
Published with the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture.
One of Maruyama Ōkyo’s (1733–1795) top pupils, Yamaguchi Soken (Japanese, 1759–1818) was a prolific painter of ukiyo-e beauties and was particularly talented in rendering scenes from everyday life. Following in the stylistic footsteps of his teacher, Soken accomplished a great degree of realism in his paintings, which he achieved through direct observation of his subjects.
Like many other eighteenth-century Japanese artists, Soken painted scenes of the pleasure-loving urban life, which was known as ukiyo, or the “floating world.” Originally a Buddhist term referring to the suffering of transient existence, ukiyo took on the connotation of escape through pleasure. In the seventeenth-century Japanese novel Ukiyo monogatari (Tales of the Floating World), ukiyo is described as “living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, refusing to be disheartened, like a gourd floating along with the river current; this is what we call the floating world.”
Contains five each of four different panels from Beauties, late eighteenth–early nineteenth century.