Art and sex come together at the British Museum in a new exhibition called Shunga: Sex and pleasure in Japanese art. Shunga, which is the Japanese term for erotic art, literally meaning spring pictures, is a selection 170 works from collections around the world, in the form of paintings, prints and illustrated books. The erotic art is from the 1600s through to 1900.
Here’s a few works from the show..
Nishikawa Sukenobu (1671 – 1750), Sexual dalliance between a man and geisha, c. 1711 – 1716. Hand-colored woodblock print. Copyright of The Trustees of the British Museum.
Kitagawa Utamaro (d. 1806), Uwaki no so from the series Fujin sogaku juttai (Ten Types in the Physiognomic Study of Women), c. 1792 – 1793. Color woodblock print with white mica ground. Copyright of The Trustees of the British Museum.
Sugimura Jihei (fl. 1681 – 1703), Lovers under a quilt with phoenix design, untitled erotic picture, mid – 1680s. Private collection, USA.
Kawanabe Kyosai (1831 – 1889), One of Three comic shunga paintings (detail), c. 1871 – 1889. Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper. Israel Goldman collection.
Kitagawa Utamaro (d. 1806), Lovers in the upstairs room of a teahouse, from Utamakura (Poem of the Pillow), c. 1788. Sheet from a color-woodblock printed album. Copyright of The Trustees of the British Museum.
Shunga opens on the 3rd of October and is showing through to the 5th of January. See more on the Japanese erotic art exhibition at the British Museum website here.