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Kitagawa Utamaro Geisha at Night Metal Bookmark

Kitagawa Utamaro Geisha at Night Metal Bookmark

David Howell & Co.

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Drawing inspiration from Kitagawa Utamaro's captivating triptych featuring courtesans and children leisurely strolling along a riverbank in the historic city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), this bookmark captures the essence of its depicted "beauties." Utamaro's artistic contribution belongs to the revered tradition of ukiyo-e, also known as the "art of the Floating World," renowned for its vibrant prints portraying actors, courtesans, and their enthralling world. Since the mid-19th century, collectors have ardently sought after ukiyo-e prints, making them widely cherished. This distinctive art form stands as a pinnacle of Japanese creativity, deeply ingrained in the Western world's consciousness as one of the most beloved and recognizable expressions of Japanese culture.

  • Solid brass bookmark; electroplated in non-tarnishing silver finish
  • Approximately ¾ × 2 inches (1.9 × 5 cm)
  • Packaged in acetate sleeve, with provenance card
  • Designed and manufactured in USA
  • Product type: Bookmark
  • Shipping Dimensions: 7.75 × 2.375 × 0.125 inches  (19.7 × 6.0 × 0.3 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 0.06 lb (1.0 oz; 28 g)
  • SKU010009456 | 769022046617 | BKS4661

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All Products | Bookmarks | David Howell & Co. | Eastern Cultures | Gifts Under $25 | Kitagawa Utamaro | Made in USA |
  • Made in USA
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Portrait of Kitagawa Utamaro

About the Artist

Kitagawa Utamaro

Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川 歌麿; c. 1753 – 1806) was a Japanese artist. He is one of the most highly regarded designers of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings, and is best known for his bijin ōkubi-e "large-headed pictures of beautiful women" of the 1790s. He also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects.

Little is known of Utamaro's life. His work began to appear in the 1770s, and he rose to prominence in the early 1790s with his portraits of beauties with exaggerated, elongated features. He produced over 2000 known prints and was one of the few ukiyo-e artists to achieve fame throughout Japan in his lifetime. In 1804 he was arrested and manacled for fifty days for making illegal prints depicting the 16th-century military ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and died two years later.

Utamaro's work reached Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views and his emphasis on light and shade, which they imitated. The reference to the "Japanese influence" among these artists often refers to the work of Utamaro.

Kitagawa Utamaro in the Chrysler Museum
David Howell & Company

About the Maker

David Howell & Co.

Since 1985, David Howell & Co. has specialized in the design and manufacturing of sophisticated, museum quality gifts, including metal bookmarks, jewelry, ornaments, and more. Found in 350 museum stores worldwide, founder David Howell says he receives inspiration for the 10,000 designs he's created from the thousands of objects in museum collections. Each piece has a unique story.

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