Utamaro: Courtesan arranging flowers
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Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)
An elegant seated courtesan arranging a blooming branch of maiden flower (ominaeshi) into a Chinese style bronze vase. On the wall another Ikebana arrangement in a bamboo hanging vase. The Ominaeshi is one of the traditional seven flowers of autumn (nanakusa).
Title: Wakamatsuya uchi Midorigi (The courtesan Midorigi from the Wakamatsuya house)
Series: Yûkun gosetsu (gosekku) Ikebana (seika) awase (A collection of courtesans’ flower arrangements for the five seasonal festivals)
Signature: Utamaro hitsu
Publisher: Sen-Sa (Marks U273), Edo
Date: 1805, 12th month
Size: Vertical Oban, 38 x 25 cm
Very good impression, still good colours. Slightly trimmed. Faint smoothed vertical centrefold. Some age marks as rubbing, soiling, stains, mostly unobtrusive in margins and from verso. Paper a little thinner at lower right margin. Good overall condition.
A rare print from a rare series. Cf. Davis Museum at Wellesley College, No. 1970.43; British Museum 1907,0531,0.125 (colour variant)