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Women's Bathhouse and Laundry

A work made of ink and colors on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of ink and colors on paper.


Mid-18th to early 19th century


Kitao Shigemasa
Japanese, 1739-1830

About this artwork

In Japan during the Edo period (1615–1868), bathing was considered a communal activity, and bathhouses were popular places to socialize. The women in this painting—most likely courtesans—are performing a variety of tasks in addition to bathing, such as doing laundry and combing one another’s hair. Two women near the back of the scene are reading a book; one of them holds her hand to her face as if to express her shock at the content, or perhaps to whisper in the other’s ear.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Kitao Shigemasa


Women's Bathhouse and Laundry


Japan (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1800–1850


Ink and colors on paper


104.6 × 188.7 cm (41 3/16 × 74 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Margaret Gentles Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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