Kitagawa Utamaro, "Flowers of Edo: Young Woman's Narrative Chanting to the Samisen", ca. 1800Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese: ??? ??) (ca. 1753 - 1806) (the name has occasionally been rendered as Outamaro, but that usage is archaic) was a Japanese printmaker and painter, and is considered one of the greatest artists of woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). He is known especially for his masterfully composed studies of women, known as bijin-ga, although he also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects.

His work reached Europe in the mid 19th century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views, with an emphasis on light and shade