Kitagawa UTAMARO II (Fl. c 1807-1830s)




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An original painting, sumi and full colour on silk, 40.25 x 15.25 in; 102.25 x 38.75 cms. Shows a geisha reading a book and holding a shamisen likened to Manjusri (Japan: Monju), the bodhisattva of wisdom in Mahayana Buddhism. Often depicted riding or astride a lion representing the use of wisdom to tame the mind. As here where she straddles a large almost human-looking Shishi lion. Very few paintings by Utamaro II exist. See Bonhams auction, London 11/11/2010, lot 357. Also three bijin in Boston illustrated by Tsuji Nobuo in Nikuhitsu ukiyoe, Ukiyo-paintings: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Kodansha 2000, pl. nos. 6, 8, & 9. And a standing courtesan (yujo risshi zu) in the Tokyo National Museum, Japan. Viewing the paintings it’s evident Utamaro II was highly competent, not something we are aware of when comparing his prints to the work of Utamaro I, which are generally poor in comparison. Comes with a double-box, the second box inscribed “Painted by Utamaro II. A picture of a high-class geisha reading likened to Monju.” Inside the lid a guarantee from Kimura Suetsuke (a dealer and Ukiyo-e expert) dated 1979 (June of the sixth year of the sheep in the Showa period). Some slight loss of gofun but in good general condition. Signed Utamaro fude with two unread seals.

 

 

Status: Sold

 

 




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