Parting of Lovers: Courtesan and Her Lover

Kitagawa Utamaro Japanese

Not on view

Unlike Harunobu's romantic parting scenes, Utamaro's focuses on the sensuality and eroticism of the lovers more directly. Utamaro portrays the courtesan half undressed, with her breast and thigh exposed. Her dress is rumpled at the cross of her thighs, adding even more of a sensual air to the scene. The man's elongated face, the courtesan's unkempt hair, and their pale skin enhance the erotic mood. The couple's seemingly fixed poses, emphasized by the way they look at and touch each other, makes it appear as if they are acting out a scene in a play.

Parting of Lovers: Courtesan and Her Lover, Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806), Woodblock print; ink and color on paper, Japan

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