Toyokuni III's Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido - Toyokuni III's 1852 series "The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido" pairs kabuki portraits with the stations along the famous Tokaido Road. Each design features a half-length figure in the foreground, with a border of clouds separating the actor from the landscape above. Interestingly, the title cartouche of each print is framed by different objects related to the kabuki character or play, including armor and weapons, household objects, flowers, horse equipment, and traveler's clothing and baggage. The large expressive characters are beautifully drawn and detailed, with fine line work in the hair and soft bokashi shading in the backgrounds.
The exact number of prints for the series is unclear, because two prints exist for some stations, and some intermediate stations are also included. Where there are two designs of the same subject, the background landscape continues across the two prints. This handsome series proved extremely popular when released, and remains a favorite of collectors today.
Hamamatsu: Ichikawa Ebizo V as Kezori Kuemon - Fantastic kabuki portrait of Ichikawa Ebizo V as the pirate Kezori Kuemon. After discovering that his passenger Shoshichi has accidentally observed a smuggling operation, the enraged Kezori grimaces angrily, gripping the rustic handle of an axe above his head as he threatens to kill the witness. He wears an exotic button-front coat patterned with a dragon clutching a sacred jewel, swirling clouds, and flames, trimmed with a ruffled collar. His shaggy hair sticks out atop his head, with the longer locks pulled back into a thick ponytail. The landscape above shows a view of the mountainous coastline. A great expressive image with a dynamic composition, wonderfully detailed, including burnishing on the black areas of the kimono.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 9 5/8"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Backed with paper. Small repair. Please see photos for details.
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