Utamaro (1753 - 1806 )

Best known for his slender and graceful bijin-ga, or "pictures of beautiful women," Utamaro is one of the masters of Japanese woodblock printing. He is renowned for his ability to subtly capture the personality and private lives of Edo's women, from courtesans to mothers. Utamaro’s enormous popularity was not limited to Japan. During the 19th century, Utamaro's ukiyo-e designs entranced Western artists and collectors. Mary Cassat was particularly taken by Utamaro’s Japanese woodblock prints, exclaiming, “you who want to make color prints, you couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful.”1

The scholar and artist Sekien served as Utamaro’s teacher until Seiken’s death in 1788. While the influence of Kiyonaga coursed through Utamaro's early woodblock prints, his unique style soon asserted itself. A prolific artist, he also produced illustrated books and paintings. Around 1791, he directed his focus to half portraits of women on their own, rather than the full-length, group designs that dominated the genre of bijin-ga. In 1804, he ran into legal trouble with the Tokugawa Shogunate for producing prints relating to a historical scene. The print depicted the 16th century ruler Hideyoshi with his wife and courtesans, entitled Hideyoshi and His Five Concubines. The work was deemed disrespectful and Utamaro was sentenced and imprisoned for a short time. Some believe that this broke his spirit, for he died in Edo two years later.

 

1. Mathews, Nancy Mowll. Mary Cassatt: A Life. New York: Villard, 1994. Print, 194.

Japanese Woodblock Prints (1600 - 1800)

Early ukiyo-e, or pictures (e) of the floating world (ukiyo), emerged around 1660 with monochrome prints. The masters of this “primitive” period, such as Moronobu and Masanobu, are known for their elegant and vital lines. By 1700, the first early color prints emerged. Hand-colored with vegetable-based pigments, this process proved costly and was replaced by full-color printing in 1765. Known as the father of color printing, Harunobu ushered in the era of nishiki-e, or brocade pictures, with sensitivity and subtlety. The late 18th century welcomed a “golden age” of ukiyo-e, during which time artists developed the use of color and diversified their approach to subject matter. Sharaku imbued his actor portraits with a greater sense of individualism, while Utamaro delved deeper into the “greenhouses” of the Yoshiwara, considering the private lives of courtesans. Browse our collection of early ukiyo-e below.

Filter

71 Products

Clear All

Availability

  • Available
  • Archive

Price

42000260

Artist

  • Buncho
  • Eiri
  • Eishi
  • Eisho
  • Harunobu
  • Hokusai
  • Kiyomitsu
  • Kiyonaga
  • Kiyotsune
  • Koryusai
  • Masanobu
  • Masayoshi
  • Morikuni
  • Moronobu
  • Sharaku
  • Shigemasa
  • Shuncho
  • Shundo
  • Shunei
  • Shunjo
  • Shunko
  • Shunman
  • Shunsho
  • Sukenobu
  • Toyokuni I
  • Utamaro
  • Unsigned / Unknown Artist

Series

  • Annals of the Green Houses
  • Book of Selected Insects
  • Ehon Momo Chidori
  • Utamakura

Subject

  • Actors & Theater
  • Animals & Fish
  • Architectural
  • Autumn
  • Beauties (bijin-ga)
  • Birds
  • Calligraphy
  • Children
  • Comic
  • Flowers & Gardens
  • Insects
  • Manga & Bookplates
  • Moon & Night
  • Music & Dance
  • Nature
  • Pastimes
  • Portraits
  • Rituals & Beliefs
  • Shunga
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Surimono
  • Tokaido
  • Waterscapes

Period

  • 1600 - 1800 (Early Edo)
  • 1800 - 1868 (Edo)

Medium

  • Woodblock Print

Size

  • Small (ie. Chuban)
  • Medium (ie. Oban)
  • Large (ie. Triptych)
  • Extra Large

71 Products

Filtered By: Utamaro
The Lovers Shinanoya Ohan and Obiya Choemon

Utamaro

The Lovers Shinanoya Ohan and Obiya Choemon

JPR-211123

$18,000.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Courtesan Hitomoto from the House of Daimonjiya

Utamaro

Courtesan Hitomoto from the House of Daimonjiya

JP5038

$12,000.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
A Box at the Kabuki Theater

Utamaro

A Box at the Kabuki Theater

JP-210364

$4,500.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Scops Owl

Utamaro

Scops Owl

JPR-210168

SOLD

Young Man Dancing at a Party

Utamaro

Young Man Dancing at a Party

JPR-209993

SOLD

The Lovers Umegawa and Chubei

Utamaro

The Lovers Umegawa and Chubei

JPR-210169

$4,800.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Abalone Divers Hunting in Enoshima

Utamaro

Abalone Divers Hunting in Enoshima

JPR-209650

SOLD

Kajiwara Genta and the Courtesan Umegae

Utamaro

Kajiwara Genta and the Courtesan Umegae

JPR-209541

$18,000.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Peony

Utamaro

Peony

JPR-209540

$3,400.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Yoshiwara Niwaka Festival

Utamaro

Yoshiwara Niwaka Festival

JPR-209156

$480.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Moonlit Night in Mid-Autumn (Ryoya no zu)

Utamaro

Moonlit Night in Mid-Autumn (Ryoya no zu)

JP6120

$900.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Act II: The Palace

Utamaro

Act II: The Palace

JPR-103795

$10,800.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Yoshiwara Niwaka Festival: The Second Set of Performances

Utamaro

Yoshiwara Niwaka Festival: The Second Set of Performances

JPR-209157

SOLD

Flourishing Port of Takase

Utamaro

Flourishing Port of Takase

JPR-209155

SOLD

Horsefly and Green Caterpillar

Utamaro

Horsefly and Green Caterpillar

JPR-100435

$2,200.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Kanbara

Utamaro

Kanbara

JP-208183

Price on request
Ship
Pick up in Store
Fukusuke (Bringer of Good Luck) and Two Courtesans

Utamaro

Fukusuke (Bringer of Good Luck) and Two Courtesans

JP-208353

$900.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Akashi and Matsuga of the Tamaya House

Utamaro

Akashi and Matsuga of the Tamaya House

JPR-208604

SOLD

Morning in the Temporary Lodgings of the Yoshiwara

Utamaro

Morning in the Temporary Lodgings of the Yoshiwara

JPR-208597

$800.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Kisegawa of the Matsubaya

Utamaro

Kisegawa of the Matsubaya

JPR-208609

$9,800.00
Ship
Pick up in Store
Sanbaso

Utamaro

Sanbaso

JPR-208603

SOLD

Yamauba and Kintaro

Utamaro

Yamauba and Kintaro

JPR-208602

SOLD

Hour of the Hare: Servant Women

Utamaro

Hour of the Hare: Servant Women

JPR-208536

SOLD

Lovers by Candlelight

Utamaro

Lovers by Candlelight

JPR-208422

$18,000.00
Ship
Pick up in Store