Memorial Portrait of Nakamura Utaemon IV, 1852

by Edo era artist (unsigned)

Current Status

Memorial Portrait of Nakamura Utaemon IV, 1852 by Edo era artist (unsigned)

Original Edo era Japanese Woodblock Print
Memorial Portrait of Nakamura Utaemon IV, 1852

A Fuji Arts Special Offer Auction

Prints from the Age of the Samurai - With this group of Edo era prints opening at just $89, take a moment to be transported back to the age when samurai ruled Japan. During the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan enjoyed a period of relative peace and prosperity for more than 250 years. Woodblock prints captured scenes from daily life, warriors and battles, the beauties of the Yoshiwara pleasure district, kabuki, and travelers along the Tokaido and Kisokaido roads. Enjoy browsing this selection of prints from the Age of the Samurai!

Shini-e - Literally meaning "death prints," shini-e are a category of Japanese woodblock commemorating the death of a famous kabuki actor, or less commonly, an artist or musician. These memorial portraits often depict the actor dressed in light blue death robes, or portraying a famous role associated with the individual. Some include verses or death poems along with the actor's age and date of death, or a posthumous Buddhist name. Other conventional iconography includes lotus blossoms or petals, incense burners, and prayer beads. The tragic suicide of Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in 1854 at the age of thirty-two resulted in nearly 200 shini-e of the actor. Some shini-e are recycled from earlier kabuki prints with the background blocks recut so they could be rushed into production. Most shini-e are unsigned, although some include the artist's signature. These designs are an interesting area of collecting.

Artist - Edo era artist (unsigned)

Image Size - 14" x 9 5/8"

Condition - Good detail. Vertical centerfold. A few small repairs.

Memorial Portrait of Nakamura Utaemon IV, 1852 by Edo era artist (unsigned)
Memorial Portrait of Nakamura Utaemon IV, 1852 by Edo era artist (unsigned)

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