Woman wiping sweat - Kitagawa Utamaro - Japanese Edo period Ukiyo-e Woodblock Print Art Painting - Art Prints
In about 1791 Utamaro gave up designing prints for books and concentrated on making half-length single portraits of women rather than prints of women in groups as favoured by other ukiyo-e artists. In 1804, at the height of his success, he made some prints depicting the military ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s wife and concubines. Consequently, he was accused of insulting Hideyoshi’s dignity and was ordered to be handcuffed for 50 days. The experience crushed him emotionally and ended his career as an artist. Among his best known works are the wood-block-print series “Fu ninsogaku jittai” (“Ten Physiognomies of Women”), “Seiro juni-toki” (“Twelve Hours at the Gay Quarters”), “Seiro nanakomachi” (“The Seven Beauties of the Gay Quarters”), and “Kasen koi no fu” (“Women in Love”).
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