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.
Suzuka Pass, between Sakanoshita and Tsuchiyama: Bando Shuka I as Kishin Omatsu - Terrific kabuki portrait of Bando Shuka I as the female bandit, Kishin Omatsu. The beauty smiles slightly as she runs her fingers along the blade of her sword, checking the sharpness of the weapon. She wears a lovely kimono patterned with delicate leaves and grasses, and her hair is pulled back with a red floral sash. Her charming appearance belies the fact that she is the leader of a gang of thieves. The landscape across the top shows the pass along the Suzuka River under a slanting rain and a dark sky. A great image from this wonderful series.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 9 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice detail as shown. Stitching holes at side, wormhole, repaired. A couple creases at edges, toning. Please see photos for details.
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