Kisegawa of the Matsubaya house, um 1797
About the object
Kisegawa was a senior courtesan working for the Matsubaya brothel. She wears a lavishly designed, high-quality kimono. She appeared in numerous prints by leading woodcut artists between 1795 and 1800. Apparently, she was one of the most popular courtesans in the Yoshiwara nightclub district of Edo at the time. Despite their inferior social status, courtesans were the style icons of their day. Their fashion sense was disseminated via the woodcuts into the cities.