Kitagawa Utamaro, 1753-1806
Morning Party at the Temporary Lodgings of the Pleasure Quarters
(Karitaku no kinuginu)
interior view in the pleasure quarters depicting several courtesans saying their goodbyes to two men descending a flight of stairs while another gentleman reclines behind a mosquito net, the toothbrush resting on a bowl on the window sill further indicates this a morning-time departure scene; signed Utamaro hitsu, published by Moriya Jihei, ca. 1800
oban tate-e triptych 29 1/2 by 14 3/4 in., 74.8 by 37.5 cm
This scene is sometimes assumed to take place in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters, however, the close proximity of the water through the windows indicates that it actually takes place in temporary lodgings (karitaku) to which the pleasure quarters would have been relocated when the main district was periodically destroyed by fire. On the opposite shore of the river there is the distinctive gate of the Mimeguri Shrine which idicates the scene is in the Yama no Shuku district on the Sumida River.
For further discussion and comparison with another impression from the Honolulu Academy of Arts (in which the right hand sheet appears to be married to the center and left sheets, and the condition and color are not preserved as well as in this example), see Asano & Clark, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, no. 330. A further comparison with another impression (also unfortunatley faded) is available in The Baur Collection: Japanese Prints, vol. 1, no. G79.
Amsterdam Historical Museum, 2000
Highly Important Japanese Prints, Illustrated Books, Drawings and Fan Paintings from the Henri Vever Collection: Part II, March 26, 1975, lot no. 180, illustrated in color
Matthi Forrer, The Baur Collection, vol I, no. G79 (purple and rose colors faded)
Asano & Clark, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, vol. 2, p. 207 for discussion, and vol. 1, pl. 330 for Michner impression Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part One, Scholten Japanese Art, 2005, cat. no. 18
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, www.mfa.org, Spaulding Collection, 1921, accession no. 21.7700-2
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