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.
Publisher - Adachi from a rare series of Edo masterwork designs. Adachi publisher seal in margin or on reverse.
Adachi was one of the most respected publishers of the 20th century. Their woodblocks were printed to the highest standards with excellent color and fine detail. Founded in 1925, Adachi also chose interesting and varied subjects for their prints and was the only publisher of many famous old ukiyo-e images.
Comments - Incredible Sharaku portrait of Arashi Ryuzo in the role of the moneylender Ishibe no Kinkichi in the play "Hana Ayame Bunroku Soga." His lips are tightly pursed in a straight line, emphasizing his broad jaw, and his eyes are wide under heavy brows. He pushes up the sleeve of his softly toned orange and brown plaid kimono as he stares ahead. The beautiful warm color of his robe forms a handsome contrast with the black collar and shimmering silver mica background. A great design.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 15" x 10" + margins as shown
Condition - Excellent overall with no issues to report.