Utamaro: Beauty Reading while her Hair Is Combed
Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro
Title: Beauty Reading while her Hair Is Combed
Series: Modern Seven Komachi (furyû nana komachi)
Date: ca.1805 (Bunka period)
This is from the second series of Nana Komachi that Utamaro designed, which relates to the seven extraordinary stories from the great poetess Ono no Komachi’s life.A woman in yukata kimono has her hair combed by a young girl. She is reading a letter torn into two parts. The waka poem reads: aruwa naku nakiwa kazusou yononakani aware izureno hi made nagekan.
Utamaro did two series of nana komachi in his late years: one in the Kyôwa period (1801-04) published by Tsuru-ya Kinsuke, and this series in the Bunka period (1804-1818), published by Ise-ya Söemon. This series has a title on tanzaku poem sheet which is placed on e-ôgi, decorative fan. A waka poem is placed on an empty space. A woman in yukata kimono has her hair combed by a young girl. She is reading a letter torn into two parts. The waka poem reads: aruwa naku nakiwa kazusou yononakani aware izureno hi made nagekan. It seems to refer to the story of kayoi komachi , which tells that Fukakusha no shôshô visited Onono Komachi for one hundred nights and died at the last night.
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Clean. Slight trimming.
Publisher: Ise-ya Sôemon
Literature: See Asano & Clark’s “The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro” plates 90-92 for other prints from this series.
Seal: Censor’s seal: Kiwame
Signature: Utamaro hitsu