Stock ID #155294
Manuscript scroll with 4 coloured painted scenes and accompanying calligraphy, 28.6 x 116cm. The scroll is complete except for the title covering section of the scroll which is missing. The condition is generally good with a little creasing and a little minor insect damage along the edges though this does not affect the paintings or text. Rolled onto a modern single roller. This manuscript handscroll features 4 colourful paintings of the 七福神、Shichi fuku-jin or the Seven Deities of Good Fortune with accompanying calligraphic text. The seven deities, Hotei 布袋; Bishamon 毘沙門, Benten 辯天, Jurōjin 壽老人, Ebisu 恵惠比須, Daikoku 大黒, and Fukurokuju 福祿壽 are depicted in comical and erotic contexts.
On the scroll Hotei opens his trademark wrapping cloth where a courtesan and two attendants are depicted. The association of a courtesan and Hotei is the courtesan's decorative obi sash in front of her abdomen which reminds us of Hotei's bag. Bishamon is dreaming and in his dream Benten, the only female deity, and Jurōjin are having an affair. The text tells that when Bishamon, gets angry and tries to break in, he wakes up from the dream. The final scene shows Ebisu, Daikoku, and Fukurokuju viewing an erotic painting together. This is a parody of three sacred men, Confucius, Buddha, and Laozi tasting vinegar, which is a well known theme of painting. The lesson of this theme is, even three men of differing beliefs have the same sensation, and as shown the three lucky deities are having sensual pleasure equally. Erotic art in Japan has an auspicious connotation and this scroll perfectly embodies this idea. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 155294).