Otsu: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matahei's Wife Otoku

by Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)

Current Status

Otsu: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matahei's Wife Otoku by Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)

Original Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864) Japanese Woodblock Print
Otsu: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matahei's Wife Otoku

Series; The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, 1852

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.

Otsu: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matahei's Wife Otoku - Great design of Iwai Kumesaburo III in the role of Matahei's wife, Otoku, in the play "Keisei Hangonko." She holds a small hand drum against her shoulder, smiling happily, her open lips revealing small, even teeth. She wears an intricately patterned gray kimono with a black collar, and her hair is simply pulled back into a smooth bun with a small white bow. A lovely view of the sea, framed by ship's masts and tall pine trees fills the background. The title cartouche is bordered with a writing set and brushes, a reference to her husband Matahei's profession as an artist. A handsome portrait with beautiful shading on the background.

Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)

Image Size - 14 1/8" x 9 3/4" + margins as shown

Condition - Nice detail. Stitching holes at side, repaired. A couple light creases.

Otsu: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matahei's Wife Otoku by Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Otsu: Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matahei's Wife Otoku by Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)

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