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Utagawa Kuniyoshi - Early 19th Century Japanese Woodblock, Geisha Her Guard

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A narrative Japanese woodblock by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) showing a joyful geisha kneeling on the ground holding a parasol with he guard, potentially an undercover samurai due to his shaved head and concealed katana. The image is adorned with kanji and there is a book at the top left with more kanji, possibly describing the scene in further detail.

The artist's signature in kanji can be seen in the lower right corner. The print has been presented in a glazed, think black frame that has been hand painted in delicate gold paint with trees and pagodas. The print is finished in a green mount

On washi laid.


The print has considerable discolouration and some foxing. There is undulation and creasing across the surface and a large tear probably caused by paper worms at the top right quadrant. The frame has some scratching to the paint.


37 x 25cm (14.6" x 9.8")
Framed Size: 49.5 x 37.2cm (19.5" x 14.6")

Artist Biography

Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Japanese: 歌川 國芳 [ɯtaɡaɰa kɯɲijoɕi]; (1798-1861) was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. He was a member of the Utagawa school.

The range of Kuniyoshi's subjects included many genres: landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors, cats, and mythical animals. He is known for depictions of the battles of legendary samurai heroes. His artwork incorporated aspects of Western representation in landscape painting and caricature.

More Information
Code py660
Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Date Early 19th Century
Dimensions 37 x 25cm
Medium Japanese Woodblock
Style Illustration Art
Subject Portrait
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