Paul Binnie The Hell Courtesan

Paul Binnie “The Hell Courtesan” artwork
In this print, there is some residue of the beauty of the courtesan in a rather late-Ukiyo-e way, but she is now blind, so that she can no longer admire her own beauty. Also, the face and the uchikake are drawn with different brushes, creating very distinct outlines, and the King of Hell appears with his mirror along with the demons and the tortured souls all over her uchikake. The print was inspired by Watanake Kyosai's paintings of hell, and the Binnie seal below his signature is in the form of a tortured soul's skull. The print employs silver mica on the skull seal and embossing for Binnie's name in the lower margin.
Paul Binnie
Paul Binnie
The Hell Courtesan
Japanese title
Jigoku Dayu 地獄太夫
Series title
Colour woodblock print on paper
Paper dimensions (h × w)
47.4 × 33.5 cm
Image dimensions (h × w)
Edition size
Artist's proofs
Catalogue number
148 (L399)
Supplementary images