Publisher - Adachi from a rare series of Edo masterwork designs. Adachi publisher seal in margin.
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.
Picture of the Upper Class - Fantastic portrait by Utamaro from his series picturing women from the upper, middle, and lower class. Two beauties are shown relaxing in an interior, one giggling into her kimono sleeve as she chats with her companion. She wears a sheer black outer robe bordered with a design of blossoms and flowing water. A koto rests on the floor behind her, next to a small lacquer box on a white cloth and an insect cage containing a cricket. Beautifully detailed with embossed lines to indicate the ribs of the round fan. A lovely design.
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 - 15 1/4" x 10 1/1" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.