Author(s): Gina Collia-Suzuki
Kitagawa Utamaro was the leading light of the popular Ukiyo-e school of woodblock print designers during its golden age, famous throughout Japan within his own lifetime, an immeasurable influence upon nineteenth century French artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet, and is a continuing source of inspiration and admiration throughout the world today for his portraits of sumptuously garbed courtesans and sensitively drawn depictions of everyday life in eighteenth century Edo. This volume, the first catalogue to document all of Utamaro's known print designs in the broadsheet format, provides a comprehensive descriptive listing of the artist's works, along with more than a hundred and thirty reproductions of his prints, with accompanying indices to aid in the location of specific works by publisher's mark, subject, or title. This groundbreaking publication, the product of more than two decades of exhaustive research, forms a record of the artist's works that will serve as a lasting reference source for connoisseurs, curators, and dealers alike. Gina Collia-Suzuki is an artist and writer who lives and works on the southwest coast of England. She has been an avid collector of Japanese woodblock prints, in particular those designed by Kitagawa Utamaro, for more than two decades. Initially a student of Western art, she encountered Japanese woodblock prints for the first time in 1985 and was immediately taken by their striking and bold designs, the compositional skills of their designers and the abilities of the craftsmen responsible for carving the blocks. In 1986 she met Jack Hillier, the world-renowned Ukiyo-e scholar, who became her mentor, and their friendship lasted until Hillier's passing in 1995. For more than twenty years she has devoted herself to the study of the woodblock prints of Kitagawa Utamaro, and is the author of 'Utamaro Revealed: A Guide to Subjects, Themes and Motifs'.