DETAIL : John Singer SARGENT, The fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy 1907, The Art Institute of Chicago, American Art Collection DETAIL : John Singer SARGENT, Almina, daughter of Asher Wertheimer 1908, Tate, London, presented by the widow and family of Asher Wertheimer in accordance with his wishes in 1922
Rupert BUNNY | Madame Sadayakko as Kesa

BUNNY, Rupert
Australia 1864 – Australia 1947
England and France 1884-1933, with visits to Australia, Australia from 1933
Madame Sadayakko as Kesa c.1907
oil on canvas
175.0 (h) x 95.0 (w) cm
Philip Bacon Collection, Brisbane

Sadayakko (1871–1946) was Japan’s most celebrated and beautiful geisha, and the first to enjoy international adulation. From a successful career as a geisha, she married an actor and joined him on stage touring America and Europe from 1899 to 1902.

When composing Madame Butterfly, Puccini is said to have been inspired by the melodies played by her company. She became so popular that sophisticated ladies sought to purchase a ‘Sadayakko kimono’.

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