Midnight: Mother and Sleepy Child

Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806)

Period: Edo period (1615–1868)

Date: 1790

Culture: Japan

Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper

Dimensions: 14 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (36.5 x 24.4cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1922

Accession Number: JP1278


Kitagawa Utamaro, one of the most prolific artists of the genre of portrayal of beautiful women, was extremely interested in images of mother and child in daily life. This print belongs to a series entitled Fuzoku Bijin Tokei (Women's Daily Customs). To illustrate midnight, Utamaro has chosen a mother who sleepily emerges from her mosquito net to attend to her child, who rubs the sleep from his eyes. The personal, quotidian nature of the subject exemplifies the new interest in the individual that emerged during the Edo period.