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A Foreigner Studying at Night

Utagawa Yoshikazu, Japanese, active c. 1850-70. Published by Maruya Jinpachi, Enjudō.

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)


Color woodcut

Sheet (Ōban tate-e): 13 1/2 × 9 inches (34.3 × 22.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund and with funds contributed by Lessing J. Rosenwald, Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Hauslohner, Dr. Emanuel Wolff, the Derald and Janet Ruttenberg Foundation, Mrs. Edward G. Budd, Jr., and David P. Willis, 1968

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Japanese artists frequently struggled with depicting light and shadow in the heavy folds of the voluminous skirts of Western dresses, often resulting in unusual flat patterning rather than three-dimensional modeling. The curious white "highlighted" areas on the skirt of the woman's billowing dress may be an attempt by the artist to describe the sheen of a crisp fabric such as silk taffeta, a cloth commonly used for fashionable dresses at the time.