喜多川歌麿画 蚊帳の中の文読み美人 Woman Reading a Letter under a Mosquito Net
Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H. 15 in. (38.1 cm); W. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
Utamaro portrays a woman who is concentrating intensely on a letter. Her entire body leans forward, and she firmly grasps the letter, holding it close to her face. The mosquito net works as a device that keeps the woman away from the light, increasing her anxiety and desire to move closer to it. The light from the lantern spreads out in a triangle, highlighting the woman's intense expression and creating a dramatic effect.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Signature: Utamaro hitsu
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA).
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.