Per custom, he distributed a specially made print for the occasion, in which, before a screen bearing the names of his guests, is a self-portrait of Utamaro making a deep bow. What little information about Utamaro's life that has been passed down is often contradictory, so analysis of his development as an artist relies chiefly on his work itself. His next known works appear in 1775 under the name Kitagawa Toyoaki,[e][16]—the cover to a kabuki playbook entitled Forty-eight Famous Love Scenes[f] which was distributed at the Edo playhouse Nakamura-za. [41] Due to his popularity Utamaro had many imitators, some of whom likely signed their work with his name; this is believed to include students of his and his successor, Utamaro II. Among his best-known works are the series Ten Studies in Female Physiognomy, A Collection of Reigning Beauties, Great Love Themes of Classical Poetry (sometimes called Women in Love containing individual prints such as Revealed Love and Pensive Love), and Twelve Hours in the Pleasure Quarters. Utamaro then went on to produce several series of well-known works, all featuring women of the Yoshiwara district. The artform took as its primary subjects courtesans, kabuki actors, and others associated with the ukiyo "floating world" lifestyle of the pleasure districts. The Largest Collection of Japanese Prints in the United States, Ukiyo-e | Japanese Woodblock Prints (1600 - 1912), Japanese Woodblock Prints | Early Edo (1600 - 1800), Japanese Woodblock Print | Edo (1800 - 1868), Japanese Woodblock Prints | Meiji (1868 - 1912), Japanese Prints | Sosaku Hanga | Post WWII, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints, Contemporary Japanese Paintings and Drawings, Japonisme, Impressionist & Post Impressionist, Moonlit Night in Mid-Autumn (Ryoya no zu), Secret Flower Viewing (Naisho hanamino zu), Parting the Next Morning (Kocho kinuginu no zu), Adding the Colors to the Painting (Shoho haritsuke saiko zu), Delivery of New Year Gifts in Naka-no-cho (Naka-no-cho Nenrei no zu), First Laying-out of Bedding (Yagu shikizome no zu), Shiratsuyu of the Wakanaya, Kamuro:Isoji and Isono, Cone-headed Grasshopper and Praying Mantis, Courtesan Tsuji from Echizenya and Kamiya no Kiku, Beauty Holding Insect Cage (Meiji reprint), Ochie from Koiseya Teahouse (Woodblock Reproduction), Naniwaya Okita Appearing Again (Reproduction), Cherry Blossoms in Naka-no-cho (Naka-no-cho hanazakari no zu), Lovers Akaneya Hanshichi and Minoya Sankatsu, Ceremony in the House of Pleasure (Shoka no hoshiki), DEMIMONDE: The Floating World and Toulouse-Lautrec.
From this a birth year of c. 1753 is deduced. From courtesans to mothers, he offered a behind-the-scenes understanding of Edo’s women.

The scholar and artist Sekien served as Utamaro’s teacher until Seiken’s death in 1788.

Over the years, he also created a number of volumes of animal, insect, and nature studies and shunga, or erotica. In 1804, at the height of his success, he ran into legal trouble by publishing prints related to a banned historical novel. [11] He was given the Buddhist posthumous name Shōen Ryōkō Shinshi.

He seems to have become a principal artist for the Tsutaya firm. When artists and writers put out prints and books based on the Ehon Taikōki in the disparaged ukiyo-e style, it attracted reprisals from the government. Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川 歌麿?, ca. [54] Ernest Fenollosa's Masters of Ukioye of 1896 was the first such overview of ukiyo-e. His reputation has remained undiminished since. Despite Kitagawa Utamaro’s success and celebrity status among his own world of popular culture, history of his life and career is insufficient. A partial list of his print series and their dates includes: Three Beauties of the Present Day c. 1793, Hairdresser from the series Twelve types of women's handicraft, Hari-shigoto ("Needlework"), c. 1794–95, The Courtesan Ichikawa of the Matsuba Establishment from the series Famous Beauties of Edo, Karagoto of the House of Chojiya in Edo-cho Nichome from the series A Comparison of Courtesan Flowers, Man lubricating a male prostitute while someone in the background peeks through the curtains and watches. Utamaro and EnjÅ« appeared to have worked on a previous book together during 1781: Renowned Beauties from the Six Best Houses, "Utamaro woodblock print fetches world-record €745,000 in Paris", Utamaro's books in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Kitagawa Utamaro Online at www.artcyclopedia.com, Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски. Kitagawa Utamaro Ase o fuku onna (Femme essuyant la sueur de son visage), par …   Wikipédia en Français, Utamaro — Utamaro,   eigentlich Kitagawa Utamaro, japanischer Maler und Zeichner für den Farbholzschnitt, * Kawagoe 1753 oder 1754, ✝ Edo (heute Tokio) 31. [43] The French Impressionists regarded Utamaro's work on a level akin with Hokusai and Hiroshige. He then produced a number of actor and warrior prints, along with theatre programmes, and other such materials. Kitagawa Utamaro: Hideyoshi and his Five Wives Viewing the Cherry Blossoms at Higashiyama, Late Edo period, circa 1803-1804 - Harvard Art Museum It was the golden age of Torii Kiyonaga in the field of Bijinga.

He appears to have achieved a national reputation at a time when even the most popular Edo ukiyo-e artists were little known outside the city. [42], A wave of interest in Japanese art swept France from the mid-19th century, called Japonisme. [11][11], Utamaro has gained general acceptance as one of the form's greatest masters. [16], He alone, of his contemporary ukiyo-e artists, achieved a national reputation during his lifetime. In about 1791 Utamaro gave up designing prints for books and concentrated on making single portraits of women displayed in half-length, rather than the prints of women in groups favoured by other ukiyo-e artists. [29] Utamaro's censored prints include one of the daimyō Katō Kiyomasa lustily gazing at a Korean dancer at a party,[30] another of Hideyoshi holding the hand of his page Ishida Mitsunari in a sexually suggestive manner,[31] and another of Hideyoshi with his five consorts viewing the cherry blossoms at the temple Daigo-ji in Kyoto, a historical event famous for displaying Hideyoshi's extravagance. His work began to appear in the 1770s, and he rose to prominence in the early 1790s with his portraits of beauties with exaggerated, elongated features. [24] In 1804, Utamaro ran into legal trouble over a series of prints of samurai warriors, with their names slightly disguised; the depiction of warriors, their names, and their crests was forbidden at the time.

[44] French artist-collectors of Utamaro's work included Monet,[45] Degas,[46] Gauguin,[47] and Toulouse-Lautrec[48], Utamaro had an influence on the compositional, colour,[49] and sense of tranquility of the American painter Mary Cassatt's work. At the approximate age of twenty-two, his earliest known major professional artistic work was created, a cover for a Kabuki playbook in 1775 that was published under a pseudonym, the gō of Toyoaki. Print, 194. Consequently, Utamaro was accused of insulting the real Hideyoshi's dignity. A prolific artist, he also produced illustrated books and paintings. [32], Katō Kiyomasa at a party with Korean dancers, Hideyoshi and his Five Wives Viewing the Cherry-blossoms at Higashiyama, Records give Utamaro's death date as the 20th day of the 9th month of the year Bunka, which equates to 31 October 1806. None of his work produced during the period 1790–1792 has survived. After 1820 Koikawa Shunchō changed his gō to Kitagawa Tetsugorō, producing his subsequent work under that name.
He was sentenced to be handcuffed for fifty days (some accounts say he briefly was imprisoned).

He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views and his emphasis on light and shade, which they imitated. It is estimated that he lived there for approximately five years. [51] The painter character Seiji Moriyama in the British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World (1986) has a reputation as a "modern Utamaro" for his combination of Western techniques Utamaro-like feminine subjects. In probably the most famous case of censorship of the Edo period,[26] Utamaro was imprisoned in 1804,[k] after which he was manacled along with Tsukimaro, Toyokuni, Shuntei, Shun'ei, and Jippensha Ikku for fifty days and their publishers subjected to heavy fines. Tadashi Kobayashi, (translated Mark A. Harbison). [21], Tsutaya JÅ«zaburō died in 1797, and Utamaro thereafter lived in KyÅ«emon-chō, then Bakuro-chō, and finally near the Benkei Bridge. [3] Ukiyo-e art was aimed at the common townspeople at the bottom of the social scale, especially of the administrative capital of Edo. Kitagawa Nebsuyoshi (1753, Japón–31 oct. 1806, Edo). [60] James A. Michener re-evaluated the development of ukiyo-e in The Floating World of 1954, in which he places the 1790s as "the culminating years of ukiyo-e", when "Utamaro brought the grace of Sukenobu to its apex". It appears that Utamaro was most prominent of the group. Muneshige Narazaki, Sadao Kikuchi, (translated John Bester), Julie Nelson Davis, "Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty" (Reaktion Books, London, and University of Hawai'i Press, 2007), Gina Collia-Suzuki, "Utamaro Revealed" (Nezu Press, 2008), Gina Collia-Suzuki, "The Complete Woodblock Prints of Kitagawa Utamaro: A Descriptive Catalogue" (Nezu Press, 2009) - complete catalogue raisonné. Records have not survived of what sort of punishment Utamaro received. [m][33] Apparently with no heirs, his tomb at the temple Senkōji [ja] was left untended. By this point, critics such as Basil Stewart consider Utamaro's figures to "lose much of their grace";[36] these later works are less prized amongst collectors. He alone, of his contemporary ukiyo-e artists, achieved a national reputation during his lifetime. Following the Japanese custom of the time, he changed his name as he became mature, and also took the name, Ichitarō Yusuke. The work was not printed, but exists in various manuscripts that different writers altered and expanded.

Utamaro, who had almost exclusively concentrated on prints of beautiful women throughout his career, suddenly in 1804 produced an anomaly, a series of warrior prints depicting Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the one-time enemy of Tokugawa Ieyasu in the sixteenth century. [su_label type=”black”]Utamaro and Tsutaya Juzaburo[/su_label] While Japanese name era changed into Tenmei(1781-1789), he also started to use the new name, Utamaro. [15] As Toyoaki, Utamaro continued as an illustrator of popular literature for the rest of the decade, and occasionally produced single-sheet yakusha-e portraits of kabuki actors. At some point in the mid-1780s, probably 1783, he went to live with Tsutaya JÅ«zaburō. After Utamaro's death, his pupil, Koikawa Shunchō, continued to produce prints in the style of his mentor and took over the gō, Utamaro, until 1820. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Utamaro is one of the masters of Japanese woodblock printing.