Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Viewing Cherry Blossoms

Artist:
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753?–1806)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
1790
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 8 7/8 in. × 14 in. (22.5 × 35.6 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
JP1669
Not on view
At times the observer is the main subject. In this leaf from a book by Utamaro, a lively group of women takes in the view from a balcony in the Yoshiwara district. They crowd against the railing, some leaning over to call out to those below. The objects of their attention cannot be seen, but their presence is indicated by the parasols that bob among the sea of blossoming trees in the foreground. This depiction may be a humorous play on the convention of portraying women viewing cherry blossoms, because in this case the women are more interested in the passerby than in the celebrated flowers.
Signature: None
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