Chosen from among approximately 300 works by Kitagawa Utamaro (c. 1753–1806) in the Art Institute’s collection, this exhibition highlights some of the artist’s most celebrated prints. It was Utamaro who gave us close-up portraits of beauties with pensive expressions, scenes of women engaged in everyday activities such as cooking, and images of women of every age against backgrounds that range from gray to yellow to brilliant (and luminescent) mica of various shades. Examples of each of these types of prints as well as illustrated books are on view.
Kitagawa Utamaro. Hanaogi of the Ogiya, from the series Renowned Beauties Likened to the Six Immortal Poets (Komei bijin rokkasen), c. 1795–96. Clarence Buckingham Collection.