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Availability: 1 available

Artist: Utamaro Kitagawa
Title: The Courtesan Takigawa of Ogiya from the series Seven Komachi of the Yoshiwara

Date: originally published c. 1794-5 by Tsutaya Juzaburo, this (c. 1950s) published by Adachi with publisher's seal on verso
Size: oban, approximately 10" x 15"
Condition: VG, minor flaws as shown
Impression: VG, excellent reproduction with attention to details, solid key lines and nice surface texture
Color: VG, with bleed through to verso
About this print:
Although the title of this series of seven prints suggests the subject of episodes from the life of the beautiful 9th century poetess Ono no Komachi, in this case 'Komachi' is used as a term synonymous with 'beauty' and 'seiro' (derived from a Chinese term connoting the blue/green wall of a stately mansion) refers to 'green houses' or brothels. It was common by the Edo period for 'seiro' to be read as 'Yoshiwara.' Seven Komachi of the Yoshiwara, depicting seven courtesans and kamuro of the Yoshiwara, is among the rarest of Utamaro's okubi-e series. According to the Yoshiwara saiken guides, 1794 is the only year that each of the beauties depicted in the series are also listed in the saiken. The series also seems to demonstrate the earliest examples of style of complex carving at the hairline; a display of technical achievement by the carver(s) and/or perhaps a new focus on emphasizing elaborate hair-combing.