Kitagawa UTAMARO – UTAMARO II.1753-1806; ?-1831
七幅之 Shichi Fuku no Uchi (One of The Seven Lucky Treasures).Prima metà XIX secolo
Polychrome woodcut. Oban:380x260 mm, trimmed within margins. At the top right the title of the print and the series to which it belongs. Bottom left the signature “Utamaro hitsu”. Under the signature, the publisher's mark. Good condition.
Magnificent print, in the bijin-ga style, depicting three young women preparing to play kemari. a ball game that was popular in Japan during the Heian period. From the series Gei-Jiman Kodakara Awase Shichifuku no Uchi (A comparison of little treasures), A Series Of Seven Prints. Under the signature, a curious publisher's mark, a variant of that of Tsutaya Jūzaburō, the founder and head of the Tsutaya publishing house in Edo, wich produced illustrated books and ukiyo-e woodblock prints of many of the period's most famous artists. He is best remembered for his association with Utamaro and as the sole publisher of Sharaku.Kitagawa Utamaro, ca. 1753 – 1806, was a prolific Japanese printmaker and painter, and is considered one of the greatest artists of woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). His paintings depicted all the traditional subjects, portraits, landscapes and court scenes; he is known especially for his masterfully composed studies of women, known as bijinga. He also produced nature studies and illustrated books of insects.When the great Utamaro Kitagawa died in 1806 he had a student who had learned the craft of ukiyo-e making and who called himself Koikawa Shuncho. After the death of Utamaro Kitagawa (he is now called Utamaro I in the literature), Koikawa Shuncho married his master's widow and continued the business as his master did before.