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.
Chiryu: Bando Takesaburo I as Narihira - Great depiction of the actor Bando Takesaburo as the handsome poet Ariwara no Narihira performing a dance in the play "Ise monogatari." The Heian era courtier wears a blue robe with a geometric pattern and circular floral motifs, the yellow and white lining embossed. He tosses his sleeve behind his head as he dances, looking over his shoulder. The landscape above shows features tall willow trees at left, and the title cartouche is framed with iris blossoms. A handsome design.
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. Small rubbed spot. Please see photos for details.