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.
Okabe: Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Tadanori - Expressive portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as the samurai Taira no Tadanori, looking up soberly, his brows slightly furrowed. He clutches the collar of his kimono with one hand, his long hair combed smoothly over his shoulders. The landscape above shows the road running through a valley towards the rooftops of Okabe. Tadanori died at age 40 during the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani," a historic battle that became the subject of Noh and kabuki plays. A expressive image, nicely detailed with embossing on the white and yellow robe and white kimono trim.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 9 1/2"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Backed with paper. A few small repairs, small rubbed spot on sky, light horizontal and vertical lines where backing papers meet. Please see photos for details.