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The Falconer

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Chōunsai Eishin (active 1789-1804) 1789-1801JapanColoured woodcut 38 x 24,1 cm

Japanese woodcuts were popular with the newly rich western bourgeoisie of the 18th and 19th centuries. The world of pleasures was a favourite theme. This woodcut displays a portrait of a young man of noble appearance in profile. He is holding a falcon in his left hand and a bust in his right hand. His kimono is decorated with aubergines, and with the depiction of the falcon both symbols allude to the three lucky dreams dreamt around the time of the New Year. It was said, one, who dreams of aubergines, a falcon or Mount Fuji during the night of the New Year would be lucky.