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Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty

Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty

Revised and Expanded Second Edition

by Julie Nelson Davis
Paperback
Publication Date: 15/04/2021
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OFF
RRP  $54.99 $45.50

Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806) was one of the most influential artists working in the genre of ukiyo-e, 'pictures of the floating world,' in late eighteenth-century Japan, and was widely appreciated for his prints of beautiful women.

In 1804, at the height of his success, Utamaro published a set of prints related to a banned historical novel. The prints, titled Hideyoshi and his Five Concubines, depicted the military ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi's wife and concubines, and consequently, he was accused of insulting Hideyoshi's dignity. Utamaro was sentenced to be handcuffed for fifty days and is thought to have been briefly imprisoned. According to some sources, the experience crushed him emotionally and ended his career as an artist.

In this new expanded edition, Julie Nelson Davis draws on a wide range of period sources, makes a close study of selected print sets, and reinterprets Utamaro in the context of his times. Reconstructing the place of the ukiyo-e artist within the commercial print market, she demonstrates how Utamaro's images participated in a larger spectacle of beauty in the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo).

ISBN:
9781789142358
9781789142358
Category:
Prints & printmaking
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
15-04-2021
Language:
English
Publisher:
Reaktion Books, Limited
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
312
Dimensions (mm):
250x190x22.86mm
Julie Nelson Davis

Julie Nelson Davis is Associate Professor of East Asian Art in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania.

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