Utamaro: Writing BeautyUtamaro: Writing Beauty
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Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)

An elegant beauty sitting at her desk and writing, while her younger companion is reading to her from a book. Behind them on the floor a koto zither. A Tanabata festival scene (on the seventh day of the seventh month).

Signature: Utamaro hitsu

Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei (Kansendô), Edo

Date: c. 1803

Size: Vertical Oban, 39 x 26,8 cm

Very good impression, colours mostly faded. Full untrimmed sheet, unbacked. Some age patina, like slight creases, weak soiling and tiny spots. Overall very good condition.

A very lovely image, from a rare untitled pentaptych, each of the five prints showing a scene corresponding to one of the Gosekku, the traditional five annual festivals. For the complete set cf. MFA Boston, Bigelow Coll. No. 11.14195VR and No. 18.291-5. Collia, The Complete Woodblock Prints of Kitagawa Utamaro. A Descriptive Catalogue, 2009, p. 385, no. 346