Utamaro

Takashima Ohisa Using Two Mirrors to Observe Her Coiffure (1795) - Fine Art Print

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About the Art

A beautiful courtesan holds up a second mirror to get a better view of the arrangement of her hair. 

The letters in the open drawer 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 neck and upper back.

The man in the inset frame looks to be preparing himself for their meeting in a similar fashion. 

The woman in the image is actually Takashima Hisa, the famous beauty who worked as a teahouse waitress, featured in the bottom right of Utamaro's masterpiece "Three Beauties of the Present Day".

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.

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