by Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Sharaku - Not much is known about the woodblock print artist Toshusai Sharaku, who specialized in kabuki portraits. His career spanned only ten months from 1794 to 1795, with around 150 prints known. Unlike his contemporaries, Sharaku did not idealize his subjects, instead creating realistic portrayals that were not always flattering, and his prints were not a popular success at the time. His best works convey a rare perceptivity, with a psychological insight and a deep understanding of the dramatic nature of the roles and the actors he depicted. Sharaku left behind a body of masterworks of ukiyo-e kabuki portraiture that remained unrecognized until a century after his death.
Comments - Wonderful Sharaku portrait of the actor Segawa Kikunojo III as O-Shizu, wife of Tanabe Bunzo. She looks ahead wide-eyed, tucking her hand into her black obi. Her modest outer kimono features a tie-dyed pattern, and she has an invalid's sash tied around her head. A handsome design with an expressive face and fine shimmering mica background.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 14 3/4" x 9 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse at top corners from previous mounting. Toning, some losses to mica. Please see photos for details. Good overall.