Comments - Fantastic Utamaro triptych depicting three courtesans of the Matsubaya in the Shin Yoshiwara. From left to right, the beauties are Wakamurasaki, Matsukaze, and Utagawa. Each woman kneels beside a small lacquer stand, two of them smoking slender pipes while Utagawa composes a letter, a roll of paper in one hand and a brush in the other. The wall behind them features a magnificent rooster or phoenix, the wonderfully detailed feathers curving across the panels. Beautiful subdued color and fine detail in the elegant kimono fabrics. A striking and lovely design, rarely seen in reprint.
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 29 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - With excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.