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: Moonlight Revelry at Dozo Sagami

Moonlight Revelry at Dozo Sagami

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)
Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro 喜多川歌麿 (1753 - 1806)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, late 18th- early 19th century
Ukiyo-e School
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 147.4 x 321 cm (58 1/16 x 126 3/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Utamaro is known mainly for his sumptuous woodblock prints portraying women. Moonlight Revelry, a masterpiece among his few paintings, once formed a set of three on the themes of "Snow," "Moon," and "Flower." This painting shows the spacious salon of an elite pleasure house located in Shinagawa, once a suburb of Edo (now Tokyo), the center of the shogun's government. Here Utamaro used principles of European perspective, which had begun to be incorporated into Japanese art during the eighteenth century, to depict a dramatic architectural setting while maintaining the elevated viewpoint of traditional Japanese painting.

This painting illustrates on a grand scale many of the Japanese ideas that transformed James McNeill Whistler's work. The elevated viewpoint and such compositional formulas as a woman leaning against a railing facing the bay appear in The Balcony (see F1892.23). Whistler's paintings also reveal his study of Japanese color composition.

To 1903
Hayashi Tadamasa (1853-1906), Paris and Tokyo, to 1903 [1]

From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased at the Hayashi sale, through Siegfried Bing (1838-1905), Paris, in 1903 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Curatorial Remark 1, undated folder sheet note, in the object record.See also, Original Kakemono List, L. 295, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Hayashi Tadamasa 林 忠正? (C.L. Freer source) (French (born Japan), 1853 - 1906)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
boat, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono, koto, moon, music, ocean, shamisen, ukiyo-e
Collection(s) Area
Japanese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.