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Utamaro

Three Beauties of the Present Day (1793)

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About the Art

One of the best-known bijin-ga prints, Utamaro's masterpiece brings together three local celebrities of the time in a single frame: geisha Tomimoto Toyohina, and teahouse waitresses Naniwaya Kita and Takashima Hisa.

Each woman wears their family crest, to identify them. The portraits are idealized, and at first glance, their faces seem similar. However, if you look closely, there are subtle differences in their features and expressions, which was an innovative move away from the uniform paragons of beauty that were typical up to that point.

The triangular composition features the geisha in the center, and the waitresses to her left and right. The print was popular, and this arrangement for beautiful women and actors became vogue and was copied many times over by other artists.

A luxurious print, publisher Tsutaya Jūzaburō had the background powdered with muscovite for a glimmering effect.

Utamaro himself produced several more prints featuring the three beauties, and the women appeared in numerous other portraits by other artists as well.

Utamaro was one of a few leading ukiyo-e artists of the 1790s, and he excelled and mastered the bijin-ga genre of pictures of female beauties. He was known for his ōkubi-e, or "large-head pictures". Utamaro is held as perhaps the greatest exponent of Bijin-ga prints, depicting geisha and courtesans of the day with an exquisite line and a playful style.

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    • Arrives ready-to-hang
      • Mounting brackets included and centered on frame
    • Premium quality look and feel
      • Printed using the Giclee printing process, the standard for precise prints with stunning culors.
    • Made to last, even in bright/sunny rooms
      • Fade resistant canvas, matte finish

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