Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese: 喜多川 歌麿; c. 1753-31 October 1806) was a Japanese artist. He is one of the most highly regarded practitioners of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock prints, especially for his portraits of female beauties, or bijin-ga. He also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects. Utamaro's work reached Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views and his emphasis on light and shade. The reference to the "Japanese influence" among these artists often refers to the work of Utamaro. See "Utamaro". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-05-04.