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.
Yui: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Shinobu - Handsome kabuki portrait from a tale about two sisters who are reunited to avenge the death of their father. Iwai Kumesaburo appears as the young woman Shinobu has traveled to Edo from her country home in search of her long-lost sister, who has become the beautiful courtesan Miyagino. After arriving at the Daikoku-ya brothel, she meets her sister and tells her the awful news that the samurai Shiga has killed their father. The pair vows to avenge his death, studying martial arts so that they can challenge Shiga to a battle. Here, the beauty looks forward with an eager smile, her sleeves tied back with a red tie-dyed sash and a sickle in her hand. An attractive design, nicely detailed with fine line work in the hair.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 7/8" x 9 1/2" + left margin as shown
Condition - This print with nice detail as shown. Backed with paper. A few small repairs, creasing. Please see photos for details.