Kitagawa Utamaro started his career by doing book illustrations for a major publisher run by Tsutaya Juzaburo . He started gaining popularity from around 1791 for his okubi-e, or close-ups, of beautiful women's faces. As his fame grew, other publishers also started selling his prints, and Utamaro became a leading ukiyo-e artist of the day. But in 1804 the government labeled one of his works inappropriate and banned him from continuing his artistic activities. He died two years later in despair.
Sugatami Shichinin Kesho (Seven Women Applying Make-up in the Mirror)
The perspective in which you see the woman's face through the mirror shows the richness of Utamaro's creativity.
Bidoro o Fuku Musume (Woman Blowing a Vidro)
The vidro is a glass toy that makes a sound when you breathe through it. Utamaro swiftly incorporated the day's fad in this print.
Fujin Tewaza Ayatsuri Kagami: Sentaku (Model Images of Women at Work: Laundry)
This is one of a series depicting the daily life and housework of married women. It's interesting to see what people's lives were like in those days.
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