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Kitagawa Utamaro (ca. 1753 – 31st October 1806) was a Japanese artist. He was one of the most highly regarded practitioners of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock prints, especially for his portraits of female beauties.
Ukiyo-e art flourished in Japan during the Edo period from the 17th to 19th centuries, and took as its primary subjects courtesans, kabuki actors, and other associated with the “floating world” lifestyle of the pleasure districts.
Utamaro’s work reached Europe in the mid 19th century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views and his emphasis on light and shade. The reference to the “Japanese influence” among these artists often refers to the work of Utamaro.
He alone, of his contemporary ukiyo-e artists, achieved a national reputation during his lifetime. His sensuous female beauties generally are considered the finest and most evocative bijinga in all of ukiyo-e. He succeeded in capturing subtle aspects of personality and transient moods of woman of all classes, ages and circumstances. His reputation has remained undiminished since. His work is known worldwide, and he is generally regarded as one of the half-dozen greatest ukiyo-e artists of all time.
Each coin features a coloured reproduction of one of the following woodblock prints
Issued as legal tender under the authority of Niue, the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, and the 2015 year-date are shown on each coin’s obverse.
Presented in a high quality acrylic frame crafted in Italy & boxed a high quality cardboard shipper.