Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)Woodblock Prints Title:
Yugiri of the Ogiya and Fujiya Izaemon (‘giya YŻgiri, Fujiya Izaemon), from the series True Feelings Compared: The Founts of Love1st Publication:
15-1/2 x 9-3/4Date of this edition: 1798 Publisher:
Nishimuraya Yohachi (EijudŰ)Carver:
A repaired spot on the upper part of the print. A clear spot. Some color fading, consistent with Utamaro Originals. Very good colors, very good overall condition. Utamaro Prints in this condition are scarceNotes:
Utamaro Prints in this condition are scarce, especially with the white background still present, but more importantly, when the blue has not faded.
Before the arrival of the Prussian blue in the mid 1820's, almost all the blue pigments used in the prints have faded. In the late 1880's, the pigments were still visible, so a lot of reprints were made with the new technology, allowing the blue color to be in full display. 95 % of the prints prior to 1820 have little to no blue color left, even prints referenced by Museums.
Most of Utamaro's blue colored prints are in fact reprints from the 1880's. The most common way to differentiate the reprints from the originals are from the seals. Reprints are lacking some seals, as opposed to the originals.
For reference, you can see the the original listed by the Museum of Fine Art
Or the one referenced by the British Museum HERE
As you can see, the blue color is fading easily, and all the seals checks out.
This actual print is very rare and beautiful in this condition.