Toyokuni I's Kabuki Portraits - The great ukiyo-e master Toyokuni I is best known for his expressive kabuki designs. His portraits were part of a new trend in creating actor images that more closely resembled the real actor as seen on stage, rather than the idealized portraits that predominated the genre earlier. Toyokuni I dominated the field of actor portraits for nearly three decades, creating bold, dynamic images in his own recognizable style.
Comments - Handsome scene from the kabuki play "Itsukushima Yuki," which celebrated the shumei or name-taking ceremony of Sawamura Sojuro IV, who appears in the center as an angry monk, grimacing at the warrior Akugenta at left. The samurai glares back at him, flinging one hand out at his side as he leans forward aggressively. He wears a blossom print robe over a suit of armor, his short hair sticking up atop his head with wings at the sides of his face. At right, a beauty watches the confrontation suspiciously as she pulls up the edge of her outer robe. Her red kimono features a chrysanthemum pattern and ribbons and clusters of chrysanthemums adorn her hair. Snow falls heavily through the gray winter sky, blanketed the pink buds on the plum branches above. Ichikawa Danjuro VII plays Akugenta. A handsome early design with expressive figures and nice detail in the clothing and armor.
Artist - Toyokuni I (1769 - 1825)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 29 5/8" + margin as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Three separate panels. Vertical fold at side of each panel. Wormholes, repaired. Slight creasing, slight rubbing at edges, a couple stains. Please see photos for details.