Kitagawa Utamaro


Ten Views of Famous Floral Places in Edo: Wisteria at Kameido
(Edo hana meisho jukkei, jumai tsuzuki no uchi: Kameido no Fuji)

signed Utamaro hitsu, with publisher's mark Bun (Maruya Bun'emon of Bunjudo), ca. 1805

oban tate-e 15 by 10 3/8 in., 38.2 by 26.5 cm

While this print appears to be from an unrecorded series, the shape and color of the title cartouche, the scale of the figure and the stylization of the face compares very closely with another rare series, Tenkatsu bijin ikebana awase (Contest of Beauties with Flower Arrangements) published by Izumiya Ichibei which is variously dated to circa 1801 (current dating by the MFA, Boston) or 1804 (Hickman, 1978, no. 267; in Marks, 2011). The similarities and scarcity of both series suggests that Utamaro adapted one or the other for the two publishers (which came first is debatable based on circa dates), but neither publisher managed to produce either series in abundance.

Money L. Hickman, ed., Ukiyo-e shuka: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston III, 1978
Andreas Marks, Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium, 2011, p. p. 174 (Izumiya Ichibei)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (Contest of Beauties with Flower Arrangements: Indoor Plum with Flowers in the Bud, dated circa 1801), accession no. 11.14264
(inv. no. 10-4225)

price: $22,000

Kitagawa Utamaro

Kitagawa Utamaro

Utamaro, Contest of Beauties with Flower Arrangements: Indoor Plum with Flowers in the Bud, MFA, Boston


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site last updated
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