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kanbun bijin@l
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Lit. beauties of the Kanbun era (1661-73). A generic and recently coined term for paintings of beautiful women and men, in particular, courtesans during the later half of the 17c. By the middle of the 17c, the growth of towns people as patrons of genre painting *fuuzokuga and the emergence of depictions of courtesans in the painting of burgeoning pleasure quarters *yuuraku-zu Vy} gave birth to the "portrait" type known as kanbun bijin, which reached its apogee in the Kanbun era. A new kind of feminine beauty, emphasizing an almost tangible sensuality was usually evoked by focusing on a single standing figure abstracted from any background, hitoridachi bijin ll, and painted with attention to silhouette, rhythmic sweep of line, rich color, as well as depicting gorgeous kimono , fashionable hair-styles and accessories. In the broadest usage kanbun bijin refer to pictures ranging from gold screens painted with dancers (Kyoto City Museum) to the enigmatic image of a single courtesan pushing aside a rope curtain *noren g in the Nawa noren byoubu g (Hara collection, Tokyo). Most typical, however, are the hanging scrolls of a lone courtesan seen in three-quarters view. The majority of the kanbun bijin are anonymous beauties (for example, the scrolls in the Burke collection, New York, the Idemitsu o Museum of Art, Tokyo, and Egawa n Museum, Hyougo), although there are paintings of specific courtesans such as the portrait of Yoshino Dayuu g쑾v (Kitamura k Museum, Kyoto). Similarly, most of the paintings are the products of anonymous "town painters"*machi-eshi Gt, although noted artists such as Hishikawa Moronobu Ht (ca.1618-94) (e.g. Mikareri bijin Ԃl or Beauty Looking Over Her Shoulder, Tokyo National Museum) also created works in the genre. The kanbun bijin had a great impact on the style of early ukiyo-e bijin Gl painting, notably the works of the *Kaigetsudouha h artists.
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EXTERNAL LINKS: 
Mikaeri bijin Ԃl (Hishikawa Moronobu Ht) / Tokyo National Museum
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