About the Art
A beautiful courtesan holds up a second mirror to get a better view of the arrangement of her hair.
The letter on the floor beside her hints at the expectation of a guest, soon to arrive. A client, a lover, perhaps both. As she prepares for his arrival, her robe tumbles down sensuously to reveal the skin of her chest.
The scene inset within the circular frame in the top-right hints at her actual location, and would have been familiar to locals.
Such prints of courtesans would often act as advertisements for the teahouses and the individual women residing there.
Utamaro is held as one, if not the greatest exponent of Bijin-ga prints, depicting geisha and courtesans of the day with an exquisite line and a playful style.