Standing Woman

Creator: Utagawa Toyokuni
Culture: Japanese
Title: Geisha and kikyo flowers (Standing Woman)
Work Type: Color Woodcut
Date: 1830-36
Repository: Wetmore Print Collection, Art History Dept, Cummings Arts Center, Connecticut College, New London
Image URL:

Utagawa Toyokumi’s “Standing Woman” is a Japanese woodcut print, depicting a geisha standing amongst kikyo flowers. Notably, the color scheme chosen for this print is made up entirely of different shades of blue. This choice in colors ensures that no one aspect of the print pops out to a viewers eye, and that, though in the foreground, the woman nearly blends in with the floral background surrounding her. Her kimono is a dark blue, and the sash depicts a floral pattern; this pattern adds to the idea that the geisha is ‘amongst’ the kikyo flowers, and that there is a sense of sameness between the two subjects of the piece. “Standing Woman” and the message it conveys are likely a reflection of the way that women were perceived in Japanese culture at the time of printing. 

Author: Hana Tanabe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *