Beautiful woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format made by the ukiyo-e (浮世絵) artist Chobunsai Eishi (鳥文斎栄之) and depicting a graceful beauty, sitting next to a writing table, while waiting to get inspired to write a poem. The woman is the courtesan Morokoshi (唐土), who was active at the house of pleasure Echizenya (越前屋) in the Shin Yoshiwara (新吉原) district.
The print is taken from the series “Beauties of the Houses of Pleasure as Six Immortal Flowers” (青樓美人六花仙). The title of this series is the result of a graceful game of ideograms: the expression “rokkasen” (六花仙) translated as “six immortal flowers” is a reference to the famous “Rokkasen” (六歌仙), the “six immortal poets”. The substitution of the kanji of poetry (歌) with that of the flower (花) creates an obvious allusion to the women who are matched, as we see in the upper left corner, to a flower; in this case to a lily.
The work, printed for the first time around 1795 by the publisher Nishimuraya Yohachi (西村屋与八), owner of Eijudo (永寿堂), is presented here in a fine woodblock reprint of the second half of the twentieth century made, as we read in the seal on the back, by the prestigious Adachi Hanga (アダチ版画) in Tokyo and, despite some signs of aging, is in overall very good condition.