Kitagawa Utamaro artprints & posters
Utamaro Kitagawa was born in 1753 in Japan. From childhood, he was a pupil of a painter and printmaker, then worked for a publisher. For several years, he illustrated many books from popular Japanese literature and then devoted himself to illustrating kyoka books that parody the waka, a genre of Japanese poetry. At the beginning of the 1790s, he gradually stopped illustrating books and produced numerous portraits of women, some of which were tinged with eroticism, as well as various animal and plant species. At the end of the 1790s, Utamaro's works were increasingly censored, particularly his depictions of warriors and samurai. He was even imprisoned in 1804 for publishing works that were not accepted by the government, deemed too suggestive, or because they depicted and named historical figures that should not be mentioned. Utamaro Kitagawa died on 31 October 1806 in Edo (now Tokyo).