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The Forceful Hairy Intruders by the Masters Utamaro and Kunisada

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In the woodblock print schools during the Edo period pupils adopted the style of their masters by looking at their designs and copying them first before they developed their own style later in their career. The teachers (masters) on the other hand looked at their colleagues and rivals from the past and present for inspiration. […]

Utamaro’s Lusty Widows and Secret Lovers

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Here a widow secretly meets her married lover (Fig.1.). The emphasis on the eyes in Utamaro‘s art is shown in clear detail; the woman twists round to catch the man’s gaze as he uses his fingers to stimulate her. She lifts her hand to her mouth in surprise at his bold move and raises her […]

The Sublime Utamaro Art From The Laughing Drinker Series

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Picture-book: The Laughing Drinker (Ehon warai jogo) was probably Utamaro‘s last erotic book, published at New Year 1803. The title refers to someone who perpetually becomes lighthearted when intoxicated. Utamaro‘s Wife The preface purports to be a letter from the artist’s wife, addressed in his absence to the publisher. Written in a suitably feminine calligraphic […]

Keisai Eisen Is Ranked Not Far From Utamaro

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After Hokusai, undoubtedly the most striking figure among the later shunga artists is Keisai Eisen (1790-1848). Eisen was to prove one of the most prolific (together with Kunisada) of all ukiyo-e shunga masters. His several sets of larger album-prints are well known, and he produced more than three dozen different shunga books as well – […]

Shunga Video Featuring Rare Koban Designs by Utamaro

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The video below features uncommon shunga prints in the koban (smaller)-sized format attributed to Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806). The designs are of sensual rendezvous of mainly married couples in domestic settings. Sometimes even their offspring is included. Eruptions A man is “gaining access” to his loved one. The latter brings the sleeve of the kimono to her […]

Utamaro Kitagawa Prints From His Crowning Komachi-Biki Series (P2)

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Welcome to the sequel (click here for part 1) in which we’ll focus on the remaining plates of the important and rare oban series ‘Komachi-biki (Embracing Komachi/Venus)‘ by Utamaro. Young Harlot Plate 7: Another winter scene with a young harlot of the Fukugawa brothel-quarter prepares to mount the male, as he moves her leg about […]

Utamaro Kitagawa and His Crowning Komachi-Biki Series (P1)

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While the subject of women is dominant within the arts of Man there are few artists whom we associate primarily with this subject. One major exception to this phenomenon is Utamaro Kitagawa (1753-1806). Crowning Utamaro‘s final, according to some his crowning, accomplishment in his erotic work is the shunga album called ‘Komachi-biki (Embracing Komachi/Venus)‘ issued […]

Kuniyoshi Makes A Low Bow to Utamaro

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The erotic designs below by consecutively Utamaro and Kuniyoshi are groundbreaking works within shunga. The first design is constantly from Utamaro’s ‘Ehon kiku no tsuyu (Picture -book: Dew on the Chrysanthemums)‘ from 1786 and the subsequent design is an interpretation by Kuniyoshi as displayed in his famous ‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library‘ that was issued in […]

Utamaro II, In the Footsteps of His Great Mentor

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Utamaro II’s date of birth is unknown (he died in 1831) but he was first a pupil of the popular author/illustrator Koikowa Harumachi. After his death he adopted the name Koikowa Harumachi II. It is said that he married the widow of his second mentor, Utamaro (1753-1806), thenceforth calling himself Utamaro II. Since he had […]

Kitagawa Utamaro’s Early and Scarce Shunga Book

https://shungagallery.com » Shunga Series | Shunga Gallery » Kitagawa Utamaro’s Early and Scarce Shunga Book

Today we’ll study the Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)’s Picture-book: Dew on the Chrysanthmums (1786). It is one of his scarce early shunga books and precedes his acclaimed album Poem of the Pillow (Utamakura), which was issued in 1788. The series intitially appeared in black and white (sumizuri-e) and was later reprinted with additional color blocks. Settei and […]

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