Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Beauty, Aizuri-e, Prussian Blue

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Original Japanese woodblock print. 

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798 - 1861) Signed as Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi
Title: A Portrait of a Beauty
Publisher: Izutsuya Shokichi
Date: 1815-1842

Size: 36.9 x 23.8 cm


A portrait of a beauty completed entirely in Prussian blue. Entering Japan from the West, the then expensive and exotic pigment sparked a wealth of inspiration for artists during the Edo period (c. 1603-1868). The demand for this colour is clear from the fact entire works were composed in it almost monochromatically, with perhaps the most famous example being Katsuchika Hokusai’s (1760-1849) The Great Wave off Kanagawa (1829–1832). Kuniyoshi presents a lady with her back turned to the viewer, revealing the sash of her kimono decorated with flying kites. The motif of her dress has associations with the Japanese festival of Children’s Day traditionally celebrated in Spring. Sparsely placed, the upper half of her robe is adorned with two paulownia flowers.

More Information
Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Title A Portrait of a Beauty
Subject Beauty & Female
Dimensions 36.9 x 23.8 cm
Condition Report Some small holes on the right side restored. Paper slightly discoloured. Trimmed.