Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H. 14 5/8 in. (37.1 cm); W. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1914
Not on view
Utamaro was the first artist to use okubi-e, the large-head portrait, to depict women. This format allows him to focus solely on the facial features critical in conveying a woman's emotions, while the elimination of the background removes all narrative from the print. In this picture, Utamaro represent the bather as an icon; the robe, towel and slightly tousled hair become her symbols. Her refreshed mood is shown by her squinting eyes and slightly open mouth, as if she is sighing in relief. Unlike Harunobu, who focuses on color harmony, Utamaro uses only a few simple colors, so as not to disturb his concentration on the figure.
Signature: Utamaro fude
Marking: Red seal of a former owner Hayashi
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.
Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806)Date: probably 1789Medium: Woodblock printed book (orihon, accordion-style); ink, color, mica, and gold-leaf on paperAccession: 2013.897On view in:Not on view