Utagawa School

Utagawa School

19th century

Preparatory Drawing of a Beauty Leaning Over a Staircase Railing Next to a Window

sumi ink drawing on paper, unsigned, with notations regarding colors, ca. 1830s

conserved on achival paper 15 3/4 by 11 in., 40.1 by 27.8 cm

Although the artist for this preparatory drawing has not yet been identified, it seems to have been inspired in part by a similar print by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) depicting a woman leaning over a railing and waving from his series Modern Specialites and Dyed Fabrics (Tosei meibutsu kanoko) published by Omiya Heihachi in circa 1830. If the drawing follows after the print, the artist simplified the composition, keeping the railing and adding a glimpse of a descending staircase and a window in the background showing a distant view of the Kinryuzan temple rising above the trees. The position of the figure is nearly the same, with the exception of the fact that she is not waving. The pattern on her kimono and the back of the obi are more elaborate, but the artist chose to keep the underside of the obi tie that juts forward without pattern (only the square archaic seal often found on Eisen's obi) and noted that it should be black, as it is on the print. While the hairstyle is similar the face is slightly fuller and sweeter than the Eisen print.
(inv. no. 10-2692)

price: $1,200

 Utagawa School

Eisen, Modern Specialites and Dyed Fabrics, ca. 1830


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
July 29, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475