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Kitagawa Utamaro (1750 - 1806)

Utamaro is regarded as one of the greatest ukiyo-e artists of all time. Considered by many the finest master of bijin-ga (pictures of beauties), Utamaro was able to convey subtle aspects of mood and personality that go beyond physical beauty. His evocative, sensual beauties have justly earned him an international reputation.

Early life

Not much is known about the early life of Utamaro. He studied painting with the artist Sekien, but Kiyonaga's woodblock print designs of graceful women probably had the greatest influence on Utamaro's work.

Woodblock printing

Utamaro established his mature style in the 1790s, creating graceful, elegant beauties and courtesans with a unique insight into mood and personality. His idealized women have a sensual beauty reinforced by Utamaro's fluid, elegant line and his use of sumptuously patterned fabrics and rich mica backgrounds. In addition to his well-known bust-length portraits, Utamaro also did scenes of women at work, famous lovers, erotic books (shunga), beauties from legend and history, and festivals and outdoor scenes.

In 1804, Utamaro was arrested and briefly imprisoned for violating censorship laws for a historical print depicting the Shogun Hideyoshi, whose heir had been deposed by the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate. He was never quite the same after this experience, and although he continued to create prints, he died two years later.

During his lifetime, Utamaro designed around two thousand prints. His best-known series include Ten Studies in Female Physiognomy, Twelve Hours in the Yoshiwara, and Great Love Themes of Classical Poetry (Women in Love).

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Item   Price Bidding Details
Yamauba and Kintaro by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Yamauba and Kintaro
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Opening at $25 only! Any high bid wins, values to $1,000!
Bid: $25.00 Standard Auction
Bids: 1
Ends: 3d 0h 58m262705
Combing the Hair by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Combing the Hair
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Takamizawa Publisher reprint
$135.00 Fixed Price
Takashima Ohisa by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Takashima Ohisa
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Rare reprint
$115.00 Fixed Price
The Chatterbox and the Naughty Girl  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
The Chatterbox and the Naughty Girl
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
Dressing a Young Girl for the Obitoki Ceremony at the Shichigosan Festival by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Dressing a Young Girl for the Obitoki Ceremony at the Shichigosan Festival
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
Young Lovers by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Young Lovers
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
Reading a Book  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Reading a Book
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
The Peepshow by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
The Peepshow
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Rare, with mica dusting
$95.00 Fixed Price
Beauty under the Mosquito Netting by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beauty under the Mosquito Netting
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fantastic Utamaro design
$95.00 Fixed Price
The Asahiya Widow by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
The Asahiya Widow
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Rare Adachi reprint, beautifully printed
$115.00 Fixed Price
Picture of the Middle Class by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Picture of the Middle Class
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$85.00 Fixed Price
Deeply Hidden Love by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Deeply Hidden Love
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint, Beautiful mica background
$95.00 Fixed Price
Bag Worm and Horned Scarab Beetle by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Bag Worm and Horned Scarab Beetle
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$75.00 Fixed Price
Earthworm and Cricket by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Earthworm and Cricket
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$75.00 Fixed Price
Evening Cicada and Spider by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Evening Cicada and Spider
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$75.00 Fixed Price
Cone-headed Grasshopper and Praying Mantis by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Cone-headed Grasshopper and Praying Mantis
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$75.00 Fixed Price
Land Snail and Giant Katydid by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Land Snail and Giant Katydid
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$75.00 Fixed Price
Ochie of the Koiseya at Kobikicho, Shin-yashiki by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Ochie of the Koiseya at Kobikicho, Shin-yashiki
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite Watanabe early reprint, with seal and mica background
$175.00 Fixed Price
Hawk and Shrike by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Hawk and Shrike
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Rare, Oedo Mokuhansha published reprint.
$135.00 Fixed Price
Courtesan Takigawa of Ogiya by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Courtesan Takigawa of Ogiya
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint
$95.00 Fixed Price
Beauty Applying Makeup by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beauty Applying Makeup
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Stunning Utamaro masterwork with mica detail
$155.00 Fixed Price
Beauty and an Insect Cage by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beauty and an Insect Cage
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
Needlework by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Needlework
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Rare, early Watanabe publisher reprint
$175.00 Fixed Price
Dressing the Hair by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Dressing the Hair
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite Watanabe early reprint, with 6mm seal
$175.00 Fixed Price
Picture of the Lower Class  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Picture of the Lower Class
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$85.00 Fixed Price
Love That Meets Each Night by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Love That Meets Each Night
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
The Fancy-Free Type by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
The Fancy-Free Type
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beautiful mica background
$95.00 Fixed Price
The Fancy-Free Type by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
The Fancy-Free Type
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$85.00 Fixed Price
Hour of the Tiger (4 am)  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Hour of the Tiger (4 am)
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi publisher reprint
$85.00 Fixed Price
Hour of the Sheep (2 pm)  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Hour of the Sheep (2 pm)
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint
$85.00 Fixed Price
Hour of the Boar (10 pm) by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Hour of the Boar (10 pm)
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint
$85.00 Fixed Price
Young Woman Blowing a Poppin  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Young Woman Blowing a Poppin
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$85.00 Fixed Price
Beauties Playing by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beauties Playing
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
$95.00 Fixed Price
Women Overnight Guests by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Women Overnight Guests
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite, rare reprints from Goyo’s studio, 1920
$555.00 Fixed Price
Hour of the Horse (12 Noon) by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Hour of the Horse (12 Noon)
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite, rare reprints from Goyo’s studio, 1920
$145.00 Fixed Price
Woman Reading a Letter by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Woman Reading a Letter
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite, rare reprints from Goyo’s studio, 1920
$175.00 Fixed Price
Reading a Letter  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Reading a Letter
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite, rare reprints from Goyo’s studio, 1920
$145.00 Fixed Price
The Interesting Type  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
The Interesting Type
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite, rare reprints from Goyo’s studio, 1920
$145.00 Fixed Price
Kamiya Jihei and Kinokuniya Koharu by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Kamiya Jihei and Kinokuniya Koharu
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beautiful Adachi publisher reprint
$95.00 Fixed Price
Courtesan Somenosuke of the Matsubaya  by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Courtesan Somenosuke of the Matsubaya
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint
$85.00 Fixed Price
Beauty Smoking by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beauty Smoking
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint, Beautiful mica background
$115.00 Fixed Price
Miyahito of the Ogiya by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Miyahito of the Ogiya
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Shimmering mica background, Adachi publisher
$125.00 Fixed Price
Beauty with Grinding Mill by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Beauty with Grinding Mill
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Fine Adachi Publisher reprint
$95.00 Fixed Price
Woman Reading a Letter by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Woman Reading a Letter
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Exquisite Watanabe early reprint, with 6mm seal and mica background
$175.00 Fixed Price
Mallard Ducks and Kingfisher by Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Mallard Ducks and Kingfisher
Utamaro (1750 - 1806)
Rare, Oedo Mokuhansha published reprint.
$135.00 Fixed Price

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