Re: Identifying artist

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Posted by Alec W. ( on May 19, 2022 at 23:51:32:

In Reply to: Re: Identifying artist posted by Anto on May 19, 2022 at 13:50:14:

I suppose it's impossible to say with any real certainty whether previously unpublished work by Utamaro found its way into print after his death. It seems equally plausible to me that he may have been heavily dependent on assistant labor to help him maintain his output towards the end, and therefore not have had much of any unpublished work.

In fact, the circumstances of Utamaro's health and artistic output at the end of his life have long been the subject of speculation. Julie Davis summarizes the topic thusly in her excellent 2007 book "Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty":

"Looking over the prints made during the last years of his career, it is readily discernible that the artist was more or less riding on his own reputation, in a long steady cycle of repetition. Like many other ukiyo-e masters, he may well have employed some of his students as assistants, perhaps even putting out images bearing his name to which he had contributed little more than a few brushstrokes." (Davis 2007, p. 243)


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