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.
Kusatsu: Arashi Kichisaburo III as Oniwakamaru - Fantastic kabuki portrait of Arashi Kichisaburo III as Oniwakamaru, the childhood name of the great warrior monk Benkei. Here, he grips an enormous blade in front of him, grimacing with anger, his other hand cradling the back of his head. His mouth is shut in a tight-lipped frown, his brows furrowed. His long hair falls wildly around his face, and he wears a blue kimono patterned with demon heads over a red robe with a design of Buddhist prayer wheels. A view of Kusatsu above shows a few travelers along the shore, with yellow rooftops in the distance. A great dramatic composition, wonderfully detailed.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/8" x 9 1/4"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Backed with paper. Vertical folds at sides, a couple creases. Please see photos for details.
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