Shini-e - Literally meaning "death prints," shini-e are a category of Japanese woodblock commemorating the death of a famous kabuki actor, or less commonly, an artist or musician. These memorial portraits often depict the actor dressed in light blue death robes, or portraying a famous role associated with the individual. Some include verses or death poems along with the actor's age and date of death, or a posthumous Buddhist name. Other conventional iconography includes lotus blossoms or petals, incense burners, and prayer beads. The tragic suicide of Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in 1854 at the age of thirty-two resulted in nearly 200 shini-e of the actor. Some shini-e are recycled from earlier kabuki prints with the background blocks recut so they could be rushed into production. Most shini-e are unsigned, although some include the artist's signature. These designs are an interesting area of collecting.
Artist - Kunisada II (1823 - 1880)
Image Size - 13 7/8" x 9 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. A few wormholes, repaired. Creasing throughout. Please see photos for details.
This Auction Falls Under Our Standard Auction Rules and Guidelines
If you are a new bidder, please read the Rules and Guidelines page before bidding.