Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.
Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.
Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.
Oban Osaka Kabuki Prints - Most Osaka kabuki prints were done in the smaller chuban size, so full oban format kamigata-e are rarely seen.
These larger Osaka kabuki woodblocks are a great choice for a collector.
Jitsukwa Masatomo as Princess Kusunoki - Terrific Osaka kabuki portrait of Jitsukwa Masatomo as Princess Kusunoki smiling happily as she looks over her shoulder, watching a crane flying through the sky with a waterfall in the distance. She wears a red kimono patterned with colorful blossoms and splashing water, tied with a black obi featuring interlocking circles with flowers in them. Her hair is pulled back into a smooth bun adorned with clusters of small blue flowers and metal fringe, treated with a metallic pigment that has oxidized to a gray tone. A text panel above takes the form of an open scroll, with softly shaded borders running across the page. Beautifully detailed with fine line work in the hair, lacquer on the black areas of the obi, and an embossed metallic pattern on the white kimono collar that has oxidized to a darker tone. A handsome kamigata-e design in the rare, oban format.
Artist - Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 9 3/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and good detail as shown. A few small repairs.Please see photos for details.
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