Attributed to Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) Late 18th/early 19th century
Lot 283
Attributed to Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)
Late 18th/early 19th century
£30,000 - 40,000
US$ 50,000 - 67,000
Lot Details
Other Properties
Attributed to Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806)
Late 18th/early 19th century
Ink and colour on paper, depicting Kintaro and Yamauba, the former suckling his mother's breast, unsigned, framed, glazed and mounted on a cloth-covered board. 46cm x 51.8cm (18 1/8in x 20 3/8in).


  • Provenance: Huguette Berès collection. Illustrated and published in the Catalogue, Outamaro 1754-1806 peintures, estampes, Paris, 1954, first page, colour plate.

    For identical prints of the same subject by the artist and published by Tsutaya Juzaburo circa 1801-3, see Shugo Asano and Timothy Clark, Exhibition Catalogue, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, British Museum Press, London, 1995, p.194, pl.388 and Kiyoshi Shibui, Ukiyoe zuten (Dictionary of Ukiyo-e Images), Kazama Shobo, Tokyo, 1964, vol.13, p.209, pl.5.

    Originating in the twelfth-century collection of stories Konjaku monogatari as a terrifying, trickster, child-eating demon, the yamauba or yamanba was first so named in the fifteenth or sixteenth century and the earliest mention of Kintoki — a boy raised in the mountains who later becomes one of the chief lieutenants of demon-slayer Minamoto no Yoritomo (948–1021) — as the son of a yamauba occurs in a text published in 1661. As seen in this painting and in his prints of the same subject, Utamaro accelerated the yamauba's transformation from ogre to caring parent. 1

    Osumi Kazuo and others (eds.), Nihon kaku densho jinmei jiten (Dictionary of Japanese Imaginary and Traditional Personalities), Tokyo, 1986, pp.475–7; Noriko Reider, Japanese Demon Lore: Oni from Ancient Times to the Present, Logan, Utah, 2010, pp.61-89.
  1. Suzannah Yip
    Specialist - Japanese Art
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    United Kingdom
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