Print #3 from Utamakura (“Poem[s] of the Pillow”) by Utamara
Gelatin silver print, from the early 1900s (based on the “silvering” present), mounted on cardboard, image in excellent condition despite age, cardboard is soiled in places.
“A couple has joyous sex on the lamplit floor with eyes closed. The woman kisses the man’s cheek with a look of ecstasy. She has shaved eyebrows, indicating she is married. The pair appear to be on a bedroom floor surrounded by a byōbu folding screen, but that she is still in her kimono suggests her partner is not her husband.”
Print is from France.
Utamakura (歌まくら, “poem[s] of the pillow”) is the title of a 12-print illustrated book of sexually explicit shunga pictures, published in 1788. The print designs are attributed to the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Kitagawa Utamaro, and the book’s publication to Tsutaya Jūzaburō.