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  • Posted: June 11, 2017 9:17 am

Lovely Meiji Era Bijin-ga Triptych


This extraordinary bijin-ga or beauty triptych reprint is from our
rare print collection. It is, of course, a Kitagawa Utamaro masterwork. Without
a doubt, Utamaro (Japanese, c. 1750-1806) is one of the most famous of all
Japanese artists of the Edo Period. His classic portraits of courtesans,
geishas and teahouse waitresses are among the most sought after of all prints. In
fact, many serious collectors consider Utamaro’s beauties to be the very soul
of ukiyo, the art of the Floating World. The title of this marvelous triptych is
Needlework. It is one of the most
sought after of all Utamaro’s incredible works.


Magnificent antique
triptych of women sewing. Originally painted c. 1794-1795, this is a somewhat
later edition from the Meiji era.  A
group of respectable married women, surrounded by their children, and even a
pet cat, are working together on a hot summer’s day folding and mending obi
sashes. On the right, two of them stretch and fold a red silk sash tie-dyed
with a white ‘starfish’ pattern. On the left, the sewing equipment scattered on
the floor suggests that this woman is holding up the sash to check a mend she
has just made in the fine gauze. In the background a teenage girl examines an
insect, perhaps a firefly, in its tiny cage. On the right a little boy teases a
cat with its reflection in a mirror while on the left a baby plays with its
mother’s fan.
The print is especially noteworthy for its realistic depiction of texture,
shown by the transparency of the cloth, and the use of the effective color
scheme of black and crimson ink against the light yellow background.


This is a wonderful opportunity for the antique print collector or
the interior decorator. It would be impressive displayed on your home or office
Antique triptychs of
this quality rarely become available.


We are very fortunate to be able to offer this lovely triptych. It
is a marvelous antique find from our rare
print collection of prints and triptychs of the Meiji era.
It would be a
superb choice for a discerning collector. This offering is truly a classic from
the golden age of ukiyo-e. It was made from meticulously recarved wooden blocks
using exactly the same technique – and with the same excellent detail and rich
color – as the original. Later edition prints like this make an exciting
addition to your collection and are a wonderful way to decorate – at a small
fraction of the staggering cost of a first edition print.


Matted and framed, this print would make a stunning presentation
by itself or as an impressive addition to an arrangement with other prints. It
is one you will be proud to display in your home or office and is bound to
become a cherished family heirloom.


Utamaro’s masterworks are in the collections of many of the
world’s great museums. Among them are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the British Museum, London; the Hermitage
Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia; and the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo.


ARTIST: Kitagawa Utamaro, (Japanese, c. 1750-1806).
TITLE: Needlework.

MEDIUM: Authentic polychrome woodblock print. Ink and color on
handmade paper.

IMAGE SIZE: 3 Separate panels, not attached. Each approx. 15 ½” x
10 ½”; (39,4 cm x 26,7 cm).

OVERALL SHEET SIZE: Approx. 15 ½” x 31 ½”; (39,4 cm x 80 cm).

CONDITION: Very rare antique triptych. Wonderful sense of age.
Marvelous color and detail. Some soiling and spotting. Slight paper remnants on
verso at top edge from previous mounting. Tiny tear at right edge of center
panel. Repaired, blends well.

PROVENANCE: Ando Hasegawa Collection.


Please bid or buy now.


Thank you.

The Staff at Uki Arts





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