Analysis Of Radha Krishna 's ' Lovers Under A Futon ' By Folio From A Gita Govinda

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Romantic love remains one of the most importance themes in virtually all cultures’ art; in Japanese and Indian art, although with different historical contexts and therefore interpretations, continues to be no exception. Kitigawa Utamaro prevailed as one of the most important artists under the ukiyo-e genres, focusing on the beauty of women in the hedonistic and rigidly organized Tokugawa period as it enjoyed stability the island yearned for. Of an unknown artist of the Rajasthani school in neighboring Madhya Pradesh, foreign powers from the Mughal Empire to the Portuguese slowly encroached in India, yet managed to maintain its traditions in Radha Krishna in its epic romance in Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda. In Utamaro’s “Lovers under a Futon”…show more content…
The print portrays a man and a woman under a futon, assumedly intimately. The soft colors of pink and green of their clothes and of the mattress on them further affirm the softness of the piece; they are lovers. Although the man’s attire contrasts with that of the woman, it is difficult to discern where their bodies apart. Just like how the futon is both green and pink like the man and woman’s robes respectively, the piece is supposed to indicate a romantic union between the two. The patterns on the futon and robe help add dimension to the print, which would later be reprinted for the consumption of the merchant class in the Tokugawa period. It is particularly important to note how Utamaro portrays the woman; women by Utamaro not only had an idealized form with slender features, but she barely resembles the common woman of the period with her impossible proportions. In direct contrast with the realism movement and their aspiration in portraying people the way they truly are, Utamaro’s depiction of women and romance are dreamily hedonistic just like many Vogue editorials. “Lovers under a Futon” is truly romantic, with a sense of equality between the two people; she is not there to serve him or vice versa. Instead, the couple is both enjoying
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