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Beauty Taking a Bath


Artist By Kitagawa Utamaro
Period Edo period, 18th century
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, colour on silk
Size 98.5×48.3


This is a work from Utamaro’s very final years. The contrast between the realistic description of the bath and the elegant depiction of the soft flesh and nape expresses feminine beauty that is the trademark of Utamaro’s works. The inscription above is taken from the ancient Chinese verse about Lady Zhao Yi of the Han Dynasty bathing in an orchid bath. The signature at the end of the inscription is that of Ohta Nampo, a literary man of that time.

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