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.
Fine printing from the respected Tokyo publisher Oedo Mokuhansha - These classic designs were produced by the well known Tokyo publisher Oedo Mokuhansha amidst a resurgence of interest in ukiyo-e. Like many of these traditional businesses, the woodblock print craft was passed down through generations, and the Oedo Mokuhansha company was formed by descendents of an Edo era publisher. These are nice prints of the highest quality standards and an excellent choice if you are looking for fine old woodblock reprints.
Comments - Classic Sharaku image of the kabuki actor Sanokawa Ichimatsu III as the beauty O-Nayo of Gion Street in a scene from "Hana Ayame Bunroku Soga." She holds a fan with delicate fingers as she looks ahead, her eyebrows raised and lips tightly closed. Her soft plum outer kimono is trimmed with a checkered design so favored by the actor that it became known as "Ichimatsu pattern," creating a popular fashion at the time. Her hair is piled high with a large comb and many hairpins and a small purple head-cloth. An intriguing portrait with a lovely distressed, metallic silver background.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 15" x 10 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Generally in nice condition overall.