Utamaro: Courtesan arranging flowersUtamaro: 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

Censor: Kiwame

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)

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