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 - Terrific double portrait of Nakayama Tomisaburo as the beauty Umegawa and Ichikawa Komazo II as her lover Chubei. In this scene from the play "Yomo-no Nishiki Kokyo-no Tabiji," they walk together under an umbrella into the dark night as they leave on a fateful journey. Rather than be parted, the couple has decided to commit suicide together in a lover's pact. Beautiful colors and soft shading in this attractive kabuki design, with an embossed scroll pattern in both black obi. A silver mica background adds a shimmering touch.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 15" x 9 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Good overall.