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Chinese embroidery Instruction

Coloured woodblock print by Utamaro II, Japan, 1808, on Chinese embroidery instruction. Coloured woodblock print by Utamaro II, Japan, 1808, on Chinese embroidery instruction. Courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art, acc. no. 1916.1162.

Tne Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, holds a coloured woodblock print by Utamaro II (Koikawa Shunchō) and is dated to 1808. It measures 38 x 26 cm. It is one in a series called Instructive Patterns for Women's Handicrafts, and refers to the craft of Chinese embroidery.

The embroiderer is sitting at a large rectangular frame, and it would appear that she is about to start tensioning a piece of cloth to be embroidered; the woman in the background may be an assistant, a colleague or the instructor.

Utamaro II (d. 1831) named himself after his master, Kitigawa Utamaro (c. 1753-1806), a famous designer of woodblock print and paintings (ukiyo-e). One of his students, Koikawa Shunchō, continued the work and style of his master (he also married his master's widow) and also sometimes used his name, hence Utamaro II. After c. 1820 he started calling himself Kitigawa Tetsugoro.

Cleveland Museum of Art online catalogue (retrieved 6th September 2017).

WV

Last modified on Sunday, 26 August 2018 11:30