Utamaro's flirty lover

Utamaro's flirty lover
Utamaro's flirty lover

The Japanese artist Utamaro is without a doubt the greatest exponent of the type of bijin-ga painting, or what is the same, the genre dedicated to painting beautiful women. And a good example of this is this work from between 1792 and 1793, which the artist made with a woodcut, and which is currently kept in the Tokyo National Museum. A work that was part of a series titled Ten studies on female physiognomy.


Utamaro's flirty lover

Throughout his career,Kitagawa Utamaroportrayed women of all ages and from all walks of life. Although it is true that his best production occurred when he collaborated with the editorTsutaya Juzaburo, with whom he made works like the one we see here. It is a series of okubi-e, or what is the same, large busts showing half of the woman's body, although that did not prevent the protagonist of the image from being the faces of the models.

Utamaro's great achievement is that he not only captured beautiful women, but he was able to observe them for a long time in very intimate attitudes. He sometimes to paint them like that, for example in the Beauty of her looking in the mirror, and other times to capture her personality and thoughts, which served him to later portray her physically and psychologically.

That is seen in this case, since the woman who introduces us has just come out of the bathroom, andShe is not yet ready to pose as she is a bit disheveled, however she appears flirtatious and seductive from that first moment.

And the artist, like the women she paints, pays a lot of attention to the dresses or accessories they wear. Hence, here, for example, here she paints her suit with exquisite detail, with a pattern of a decorative nature. A garment called kosode, and which is an antecedent of the well-known kimono. He dresses her with her, but he also continues to provide us with information about that flirtation, by placing her sensually, leaving a shoulder, and even a breast, in sight.

Something similar can be said about the hairstyle, or rather disheveled, of the girl, who is not completely groomed, but still has had time to put on some hairpins and combs to collect her hair, and leave a strand free with the intention of provoking viewers.

These types of prints were much loved at the time, and their publication was relatively controlled. That is why the inscriptions on the side. Which provide information about the author, the publisher and are also the stamp that they have received an official approval.

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