Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Hour of the Boar (10pm)

Size: 39.5cm by 27.5cm (15.55 in by 10.83 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [L] ?

Designer: Kitagawa Utamaro

Era: Post-war | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 8,000$ 72.00£ 52.25€ 60.75 [Item has been sold]

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Description: This print, titled "The Hour of the Boar (I no koku)", is from the series "The Twelve Hours in the Yoshiwara" (Seirô jûni toki tsuzuki) by Utamaro.

"Ever keen to show supposedly 'private' moments in the lives of his female subjects, Utamaro's project with this series was to show a typical day and night in the life of a high-ranked courtesan of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter. The series title is written between the hanging weights of a stylised lantern clock and the zodiacal name of the time of day (or night), at roughly two-hour intervals, is written on the bell" (quoted from the British Museum website).

"The Hour of the Boar is about 10 pm. This is a banquet scene in the party rooms of a brothel. An affecting contrast is drawn between the formal, erect pose of the courtesan as she offers a cup of saké to the client outside the picture, and the young 'kamuro' as she dozes over the kettle." (ibid.).

The richness of the colours and patterns of the kimono worn by the courtesan is brought out by the simplicity of the attire of the assistant.

The flecks of metallic pigment used in the print have oxidised a little, and there are a few minor creases.

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