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UTAMARO Japanese Woodblock Print BEAUTY WITH POPEN

Availability: 1 available

UTAMARO Japanese Woodblock Print BEAUTY WITH POPEN


Young Woman Blowing a Popen

from the series "Ten Types in the Physiognomic Study of Women"

Date: originally published c. 1792-3, this is a Showa era strike published by Watanabe from recut blocks
Size: oban approx. 10" x 15.5"
Condition: Fine, no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso; beautiful mica background
A Japanese beauty of the Edo-era blows into a popen (or poppin), a glass toy which when blown makes an attractive pinging sound. This print is quite possibly the best known of all of Utamaro's bijin-ga masterpieces. Although it is difficult to see in our scan, the background is a beautiful pearlescent white mica.
Kitagawa Utamaro (ca. 1753 - 1806) was a Japanese print maker and painter, and is considered one of the greatest artists of ukiyo-e. He is known especially for his masterfully composed studies of women, known as bijin-ga, although he also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects. His work reached Europe in the mid 19th century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views, with an emphasis on light and shade.

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