Publisher - Adachi from a rare series of Edo masterwork designs. Adachi publisher seal in margin or on reverse.
Adachi was one of the most respected publishers of the 20th century. Their woodblocks were printed to the highest standards with excellent color and fine detail. Founded in 1925, Adachi also chose interesting and varied subjects for their prints and was the only publisher of many famous old ukiyo-e images.
Comments - Lovely portrait of a young beauty holding her hand up to her chin, a delicate string tied around her slender wrist. Her hair is piled high in a graceful arrangement ornamented with a large comb and several hairpins. Beautiful fine line work in the plaid kimono and hairline. To circumvent a prohibition against giving a woman's name on a print at the time this work was done, Utamaro used only the first syllable of her name, "To." A classic Utamaro beauty subject.
Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Artist - Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Image Size - 14 7/8" x 9 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.