Comparison of Beauties
Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III)
Color woodblock print Technique: color woodblock print
14 7/8 x 10 1/8 in. (37.8 x 25.7 cm)
Title Kanji: 身じまい芸者 Series Title Kanji:當世美人合
The subject of women in front of mirror or at their bathroom was a popular one in Ukiyo-e. In this print, a young woman is holding a mirror, checking her nape which was considered to be one of the most sensual parts of women’s body. The double mirror image was a familiar theme among Utagawa artists. This kind of gesture or particular actions such as an after bath scene gave the Impressionists especially Degas and Mary Cassatt new ideas about poses, which they tried to incorporate in their work as a vital part of the composition.