Hashira-e, Two Beauties with a Baby


Artist: Unspecified
Title: Two beauties with a baby
Date: end of 18th century
Size: 11.1 x 60.3 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Two beauties are portrayed in a domestic setting, one reaching out for the baby that is eager to be welcomed in her arms. Reminiscent of Utamaro's depiction of beauties from the pleasure quarters and their children, this print too creates a more laid-back atmosphere, intimate and casual.

Hashira-e, or pillar prints, is a narrow print format originally intended for decoration of the supporting pillars in traditional Japanese houses. The prints would have been pasted to the pillars and exposed to the elements of the Japanese household, making those that have survived very rare collectibles. While these more unusual sizes present their own challenges to the printing process, they also allow the artist to be experimental, imaginative, and innovative with the design’s compositional limitations.

Subjects range from the traditional portrayals of bijin (beautiful women), to legendary figures and heroes, to birds and flowers, in a limited space brimming with artistic imagination and expression.

More Information
Print FormatHashira-e (Pillar Print)
SubjectBeauty & Female
Size11.1 x 60.3 cm
Condition ReportLight backing. Paper residue on the back. Light horizontal creases. Darkened paper and discolouration. Worn top right corner.