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.
Ikuta, between Fujikawa and Okazaki: Sawamura Sojuro IV as Kajiwara Genta - Handsome kabuki portrait of Sawamura Sojuro IV as the samurai Kajiwara Genta wearing formal court dress, including a black cap tied under his chin with a tasseled cord. He scowls as he looks over his shoulder, his eyes narrowed in anger and brows furrowed. He wears a blue kimono with a swirling gray and yellow pattern in the center, his family crest emblazoned on the shoulders and sleeve. The landscape above shows a bridge crossing a river, with the tower of a castle rising on the distant shore. A great expressive figure, nicely detailed with burnishing on the black cap and embossing on the white kimono collar and trim.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/8" x 9"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Backed with paper. A couple wrinkles. Please see photos for details.