UTAMARO AND THE SPECTACLE OF BEAUTY by Julie Nelson Davis. London: Reaktion Books, 2008, 269 pp., 114 illustrations, 66 color plates. £35 (cloth)

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) is widely known as one of the most creative and influential artists of the ukiyo-e, those “pictures of the floating world” that delineated, in particular, the good looks of the women of Edo. These have, in fact, been called among the most accomplished and eloquent expressions of feminine beauty in Japanese art.

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