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.
Hodogoya: Bando Shuka I as Okaru - Wonderful kabuki portrait of Bando Shuka I as the beauty Okaru in the classic play "Kanadehon Chushingura," based on the true story of the 47 ronin. The lovely young woman allowed her father to sell her to a brothel in Kyoto to obtain money to participate in the vendetta against Hangan. Here, she wears a beautiful kimono patterned with peonies, irises, and chrysanthemums, a purse wrapped in tissues tucked into the front of her robe. She smiles happily as she looks over her shoulder, her hair adorned with a floral ornament with dangling bells that match the trim on her purse. Travelers cross over an arched wooden bridge in the background. An attractive design with fine line work in the hairstyle.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 9"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Small loss at edge, a few small holes, repaired. Please see photos for details.
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