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.
Yokkaichi: Otani Tomoemon IV as Washizuka Daihachi - Expressive kabuki portrait of Otani Tomoemon IV as the commoner Washizuka Daihachi. He grimaces as he hunches forward, looking over his shoulder with brows furrowed and lips tightly pursed. His hair is cropped short and tied back with a blue and white dotted cloth, and he wears a blue patterned kimono trimmed with brown plaid. The inset above shows the torii gate entrance to a shrine, framed by tall pine and smaller blossoming trees. A marvelous character study, nicely detailed with soft shading on the sky and cloud-like border between the figure and landscape.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/8" x 9 1/4"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. A couple creases, stain. Please see photos for details.
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