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Utamaro (1753) (1753 - 1806)

Lot 102: KITAGAWA UTAMARO [1754-1806]


December 14, 2004
London, United Kingdom

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Ehon Mushi erami [A picture book of insects/published 1788/illustrated R. Lane/'Images of The Floating World' p.345]; the two volumes of blue-backed ehon containing 15 double-page illustrations depicting insects and plants, including: a caterpillar with wasps; a grass-hopper; a dragon-fly with two butterflies; a white caterpillar; a mantis; and a moth with fire-flies; in fitted box [3]
[see front cover illustration/both volumes damaged and worn]


Jack Hillier in his work on Utamaro [1961] devotes a whole chapter to the 'Insect Book' of 1788, concluding: 'As for the prints, nothing more exquisite in the way of engraving and printing had been seen before'. The influence of both the Insect Volumes was far reaching, defining the genre of kacho-e with both naturalism and innovation. Hokusai's famous Kyoka volume of 1826, Rengei-dai [The Lotus Pedestal], uses the principal design of a bee and wild rose in a form which Richard Lane summarised as 'rather reminiscent of Utamaro's famous Insect Book of 1788'.

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Japanese And Other Asian Works Of Art

December 14, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

London, United Kingdom