Kitagawa Utamaro


The Love Trials of Purchasing a Prostitute
(Baishoku shinajina nasake kurabe)

signed Utamaro hitsu, with publisher's crane seal of Tsuruya Kiemon (Senkakudo), ca. 1793-94

aiban tate-e 13 1/4 by 9 in., 33.8 by 22.9 cm

A young man wearing a brown kimono accessorized with tobacco accoutrements secured with a manju netsuke leans against a door frame while attempting to solicit a slightly disheveled beauty standing at the threshold. With his face partially concealed by a headscarf, he awkwardly kicks up his right heel in a gesture feigning ease and confidence.

This scarce aiban is listed in Collia-Suzuki's catalogue as a titled single-sheet print, and not likely associated with a series.

Shibui Kiyoshi, Ukiyo-e zuten, vol. 13, Utamaro, 1964, 136-1-1
Kitagawa Utamaro sakuhin mokuroku (List of Utamaro's Complete Works), Ukiyo-e shuka, vol. 3: Bosuton Bijutsukan III, 1978, no. 141.1
Gina Collia-Suzuki, The Complete Woodblock Prints of Kitagawa Utamaro, A Descriptive Catalogue, 2009, p. 32, no. 5

(inv. no. C-3294)

price: $3,500


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
December 2, 2021

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