Publisher - Adachi from a rare series of Edo masterwork designs. Adachi publisher seal in margin or on reverse.
Adachi was one of the most respected publishers of the 20th century. Their woodblocks were printed to the highest standards with excellent color and fine detail. Founded in 1925, Adachi also chose interesting and varied subjects for their prints and was the only publisher of many famous old ukiyo-e images.
Comments - Interesting kabuki print showing the actors Mimasu Tokujiro as Umegawa and Matsumoto Koshiro IV in the role of Chubei from the play "Koibikyaku Yamato Orai" (Love's Messenger on the Yamato Road). Chubei stands holding an umbrella, looking sadly down at his lover Umegawa, the couple facing death after eloping. Singers chant in the background, accompanied by a shamisen player. This type of print where the accompanists are visible to the audience is known as a "denagatari" depiction. A fine choice for a kabuki enthusiast.
Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Artist - Kiyonaga (1752 - 1815)
Image Size - 15 1/4" x 10 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - Excellent with no issues to report.