The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon - Published between 1922 and 1926, "The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon" illustrates the works of the famous playwright Chikamatsu Manzaemon (1653 - 1725), considered one of Japan's greatest dramatists. He authored more than 100 plays, mainly for the bunraku puppet theater, including historical romances and domestic tragedies, often based on true events. Many of these popular tales were adapted for kabuki theater and are still performed today.
This beautiful series consists of 18 prints by leading artists of the Taisho era, including two important female painters, Shima Seien (1892-1970) and Uemura Shoen (1875-1949). From mysterious ghosts and poignant beauties to fierce deities and heroic warriors, each illustrates one of Chikamatsu's most memorable characters. Exquisitely carved by Yamagishi Kazue and expertly printed by Nishimura Kumakichi, many include deluxe printing techniques such as embossing, metallic flecks, mica, and hand-applied gofun pigment.
We are excited to offer an incredible group of prints from "The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon," including the most desirable and sought-after designs. Considered one of the greatest Japanese shin-hanga series, these fantastic first edition designs are a wonderful choice for a collector. We've seen images from this series offered elsewhere online for more than $1,500. Don't miss this opportunity to collect a beautiful, first edition print from this timeless and treasured series.
The Heroine Umekawa, circa 1923 - Beautiful image of the courtesan Umekawa (or Umegawa) in "Meido no Hiyaku," a play about a love suicide. The beauty is in love with Chubei, who works for a firm of couriers. After Chubei steals money to release Umekawa from her contract, the pair flees to Chubei's home village, deciding to commit lover's suicide together rather than be parted. In this close-up portrait, Umekawa clutches her kimono sleeve to her chin with a poignant expression as large flakes of snow fall over the scene. Her head is cloaked in a blue hood against the cold winter air. Beautifully detailed with subtle white mica in the face and sky, and silver mica on the hairpin and kimono sleeve. A lovely, expressive design, set off by a soft gray border emulating the brocade trim on a scroll.
Artist - Tsunetomi Kitano (1880 - 1947)
Image Size - 10 3/4" x 15 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail. Slight toning, a few spots. Please see photos for details. Good overall.