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.
Akasaka: Matsumoto Koshiro VI as Sawai Matagoro - Handsome kabuki portrait of Matsumoto Koshiro VI as the murderer and villain Sawai Matagoro in the tale of the Igagoe Revenge. He scowls as he looks ahead, his brows furrowed and one arm tucked in the opposite sleeve of his kimono. His hair is tall on top and pulled back at the sides into a topknot at the back of his head. His black kimono features a beautiful burnished geometric pattern. Behind him a village can be seen along the foliage of the horizon, with low mountains in the distance. A fine kabuki print with a large expressive figure and attractive color.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 9 1/2"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Vertical and diagonal folds. A few repairs, wrinkling. Please see photos for details.