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.
Maisaka: Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Komachiya Soshichi - Terrific kabuki portrait of Ichimura Uzaemon XII in the role of the Kyoto merchant Komachiya Soshichi in the play "Hakata Kojoro nami makura." He is traveling to meet his sweetheart, the courtesan Kojoro, when he encounters a gang of smugglers. He is shown here smiling slightly in anticipation of meeting with his love, his eyes wide. The landscape behind him features a view of Maisaka with travelers making their way past fields that stretch down to the sea. A great design with beautiful soft shading in the background.
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. Please see photos for details.