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.
Yoshiwara: Arashi Rikan III as Tonase - Handsome portrait Arashi Rikan III as Tonase of from Act 8 of the kabuki play "Kanadehon Chushingura," based on the true story of the 47 ronin. The wife of the loyal Honzo, Tonase and her daughter Konami are traveling to Yuranosuke's estate near Kyoto for Konami's wedding to Rikiya, Yuranosuke's son. She looks back over her shoulder with a slightly worried expression. She wears a blue outer kimono with a furry black collar over a red under robe tied with a brown brocade obi. Unusually, she has two swords at her side, just like a samurai. A pale pink cloth is wrapped protectively around her hairstyle to keep it from getting dusty as they travel. The landscape behind them shows a view of Mt. Fuji beyond a tall pine tree. A nicely detailed design with embossing on the white kimono collar and trim.
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, light horizontal lines where backing papers meet. Please see photos for details.