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Seated Female Figure

About 1670-1690

Japan, Saga Prefecture

Porcelain painted with overglaze enamels, with traces of gold (Arita ware, Kakiemon style)

H. 10 1/2 x W. 9 x D. 9 in. (26.7 x 22.86 x 22.86 cm)

Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.241

Licensing inquiries

Like the two standing figures also in the collection, this seated porcelain female represents the established theme of beautiful woman (bijin) prevalent in ukiyo-e paintings and prints. A high-class courtesan, she has her face painted in white makeup and her hair in an elaborate coiffure, and is dressed in sumptuously decorated, multilayered clothing (kimono), all reflecting the fashion of the Kanbun era (1661-1673). Enameled porcelain figures like this seem to have been a staple of the Kakiemon porcelain workshop, and many were exported to Europe.