Utamaro is celebrated for his prints of women, particularly of the public and private lives of courtesans. He produced half-length portraits, and also illustrated books (also in the Birmingham Collection). Utamaro was immensely popular in his lifetime, and his signature was forged. A number of prints bearing his name are, in fact, the work of rivals and pupils.
This image depicts a prattling young woman who likes the theatre. In her chatter she makes reference to a retirement performance by the actor Segawa Kikunojo as well as mentioning Sawamura Gennosuke, Ichikawa Komazo, and Segawa Michinosuke. It appears that she is talking about the retirement performance of Segawa Kikunojo III in the play 'Shinodazuma nagori no ko-wakare', performed at the Ichimura Theatre in the ninth month, 1802.