Utamaro Kitagawa, Dream, Beauty, Cat, Profitable Visions in Daydreams of Glory


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Artist: Utamaro I Kitagawa (1753-1806)
Title: Dream of A Young Woman
Series: Profitable Visions in Daydreams of Glory
Publisher: Tatsuya Juzaburo
Date: 1801
Dimensions: 25 x 38.3 cm

This print shows a young woman who has apparently fallen asleep while reading. Her dream is shown to be emerging above her head, at the top of the print. A cat is gazing at the images of the dream.

The cat, an animal which is said to bring good luck in Japanese culture, but which is also attributed with causing mischief, has a visibly amused face and is staring at what is happening in the young woman’s dream. Within the dream, a bandit is seemingly trying to steal the clothes of a man who could be the young woman’s lover. She is visibly embarrassed and is covering her eyes. The bandit is depicted as excessively hairy, animal-like and fat with extremely ill-fitting clothes. His animal-like qualities could be an allusion to the cat.

Profitable Visions in Daydreams of Glory is a humorous series, depicting the dreams of people of various walks of life and of various ages, giving the viewer an insight into the culture and everyday-life of Japan in the Edo period (c.1603-1868).


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