Women in a bath house


  • Catalogue text

    Utagawa Toyokuni specialized in portraits of kabuki actors. After about 1790 he produced bijinga for the publisher Izumiya Ichibei and later created his own style while also incorporating the styles of Kiyonaga and Utamaro.

    This triptych shows a woman taking a bath while a maid washes her back. This type of bath could only accommodate one person and so long baths were not permitted. On the right, a woman in a yukata waits her turn to bathe, talking to another woman who is wearing a summer kimono. The woman on the left is fully dressed in hitoe and is talking to a man who leans through the window while smoking a pipe. In the background the women’s yukata and small accessories hang on rails.

    Interestingly, these are depicted with shadows to give them a three dimensional look, which for prints is uncommon.

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