Zoku ni iu gutarabei (Vulgarly called the good-for-nothing), from the series Kyokun oya no megane (A parent's moralizing spectacles) A half-length portrait of a woman leaning to the left as she carries a bowl, tooth-brush and packet of tooth-powder, signed Utamaro hitsu and published by Tsuruya Kinsuke--good impression, faded, soiled, stained, creased, repairs oban tate-e: 37 x 24.2cm.
Artist or Maker
Kitagawa Utamaro (1754-1806)
According to Asano Shugo and Timothy Clark, the lengthy inscription explains that this woman, a slovenly good-for-nothing, has just awakened and is cleaning her teeth and gargling. She has ignored the advice of others and shows no inclination to work at something she enjoys. Born with a good nature, it is the fault of her parents that they did not bring her up teaching her what she should do. (See Asano Shugo and Timothy Clark, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, exh. cat. [London and Tokyo: British Museum Press and Asahi Shimbun, 1995], text vol. p. 230).