Portrait Of Tomimoto Toyohina - Kitagawa Utamaro - Japanese Edo period Ukiyo-e Woodblock Print Art Painting - Art Prints
Tomimoto Toyohina was a much sought-after geisha (entertainer) who performed narrative ballads accompanied by the shamisen. She was one of several non-prostitute beauties, including teahouse waitresses, whom Utamaro depicted repeatedly in the early to mid 1790s. Here she wears a headdress called ageboshi, used by fashionable women to protect their oiled coiffures from dust and wind when they went out. For this image, the printer rendered the ageboshi in pale pink mica to suggest the texture of silk.
This composition is from a six-print series comprising half-length portraits of famous beauties. The women are not identified directly, but their names are given in hanji-e, or picture riddles, adjoining the title cartouche. Utamaro may have used this device to circumvent an edict issued in 1793 that prohibited the naming of women in ukiyo-e prints unless they were prostitutes.
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