Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

close_button
Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Two Women with a Baby who is Playing on the Floor

Artist:
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1793
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
20 3/4 x 7 5/8 in. (52.7 x 19.4 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
JP1674
Not on view
Two women are playing with a baby. The mother, whose exposed breasts are accented with pink, gazes down at her son; meanwhile, he looks up her kimono. Through the diaphanous material we see both the child's head and the mother's leg. Utamaro accommodated the vertical format of the print by cropping the image at each side.

Here, as in many other prints in this exhibition, the artist covers the woman's legs but emphasizes her naked breasts. "With their obvious sexuality designed to feed erotic fantasies, these images may have served as a substitute for shunga, or explicitly erotic prints, whose publication was illegal.
Signature: Utamaro hitsu
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA).
Related Objects

Gifts of the Ebb Tide (The Shell Book) (Shiohi no tsuto)

Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806) Date: probably 1789 Medium: Woodblock printed book (orihon, accordion-style); ink, color, mica, and gold-leaf on paper Accession: 2013.897 On view in:Not on view

Picture Book on Flowers of the Four Seasons (Ehon shiki no hana)

Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806) Date: 1801 Medium: Set of two woodblock printed books; ink and color on paper Accession: 2013.854a, b On view in:Not on view

Picture Book of Selected Insects (The Insect Book) (Ehon mushi erami)

Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806) Date: 1788 Medium: Set of two woodblock printed books; ink, color, and mica (vol. 2) on paper Accession: 2013.852a, b On view in:Not on view

The Young God Ebisu (Waka ebisu)

Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806) Date: 1789 Medium: Woodblock printed book; ink, color, and brass dust on paper Accession: 2013.853 On view in:Not on view

The Colors of Spring (Haru no iro)

Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806) Date: preface dated 1794 Medium: Woodblock printed book; ink, color, and metallic pigments on paper Accession: 2013.858 On view in:Not on view