PAST: The twelve hours of the green houses, and other beauties
Kitagawa Utamaro (ca. 1753-1806) was one of the great masters of Japanese print art or ukiyo-e, and the first to portray female beauties close up. The Utamaro prints held by the Museums of the Far East are so fine in quality and are of such number that they form a unique collection that is the envy of the world. Because of the need to keep them in a good state of preservation, they are only occasionally put on public exhibition, and then only for a limited period.
For the first time, 112 prints of the master are being shown, albeit in two spells – Friday 27 April will see forty of them changed for others.
Spring and the opening of the neighbouring Royal Greenhouses form an ideal backdrop to set out this refined art against.