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.
Seki: Iwai Hanshiro VIII as Koman - Terrific image of the actor Iwai Hanshiro VII as Koman. The young beauty is dressed as an otokodate or street knight, with a sword at her side and a shakuhachi flute visible behind her back. She smiles happily as she looks over her shoulder, tugging on the ends of the blue and white cotton towel draped over her shoulders. She wears a black kimono with a patterned diamonds in different colors, tied with a tan striped obi. The landscape behind shows a daimyo's procession along the Tokaido Road near Seki, with retainers marching along, the lord riding in an enclosed palanquin. A great kabuki portrait with detailed line work in the hairstyle.
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. A few wormholes, repaired. A few creases, raised bump on neck from fiber in backing paper. Please see photos for details.