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The Japanese artist, Utagawa Kuniyoshi was a great cat lover, who was not only distracted by the many cats he is said to have kept in his studio, but he incorporated them into his art on a regular basis. In this charming print from the mid 1840s, he depicts the daughter of Yukinari Dainagon sitting painting. Apparently, her painting of a butterfly was so realistic that her cat tried to catch it and tore up her painting.
Artist's signature: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga
ink and colors on paper
Dainagon Yukinari musume (Daughter of Dainagon Yukinari) is portrayed seated at a low table that is equipped with brushes and ink. Her white cat has just stolen her drawing of a butterfly and is pouncing upon it, so lifelike is the woman's drawing.
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