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UTAMARO Japanese Woodblock Print AWABI DIVERS TRIPTYCH

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UTAMARO Japanese Woodblock Print AWABI DIVERS TRIPTYCH

KITAGAWA UTAMARO

Awabitori Abalone Divers (triptych)

from the series "Women's Handiworks"

Date: Showa era Watanabe strike from finely recarved wood blocks, originally published c. 1797
Size: each print approx. 10" x 15", Showa era strike published by Watanabe with circular publisher's seal on each print
Condition: Fine, no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso

THIS TRIPTYCH IS, of course, the famous composition by Utamaro of fisherwomen who dive for abalone, and is among the most well known triptychs in Ukiyo-e. The outlines of the skin of the five beauties who compose the composition, and the waves are printed with colored lines. This devise was probably invented by Utamaro and appears on many of his prints from this period. Utamaro did several designs of abalone divers, but this is the most well-known. The mother and child in the center sheet are reminiscent of Utamaro's imagery of Yamauba and Kintaro.
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