Paul Binnie, Utamaro no Shunga, A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo

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Artist: Paul Binnie (1967-)
Title: Utamaro no Shunga (Utamaro's Erotica)
Series: A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo
Date: 2005
Size: 27.3 x 42.7 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

This print shows a young girl tattooed with an erotic design by Utamaro, the great late-18th century artist of beauties, derived from his album e-hon 'Komachi Biki', while the cartouche design comes from his famous Utamakura album.

The art of tattooing in Japan has evolved, some might say declined, a great deal since the Edo period, and as many people have rightly pointed out, young ladies would be highly unlikely today to decide to have a large design placed on their backs like this, but this whole series is a work of the imagination, and plodding reality must be replaced with the romanticism of the image.

The artist has used metallic pigments and lacquer detailing in the hair, and this time the seal, which spells 'Paul Binnie' in stylised form, is in the shape of a butterfly, recalling Puccini's beautiful heroine.

More Information
Print Format Dai-Oban
Artist Name Paul Binnie
Title Utamaro no Shunga (Utamaro's Erotica)
Subject Beauty & Female, Shunga Erotica, Tattoo
Dimensions 27.3 x 42.7 cm
Condition Report Light crease at the top.