Titles of Dance Descriptions - Designed between 1856 and 1858, Toyokuni III's large series "Titles of Dance Descriptions" presents scenes from a variety of kabuki plays, including some from performances a few years prior to publication. Each includes expressive figures in nicely detailed settings, and some feature deluxe treatments such as burnishing or embossing. The title cartouche take the form of two overlapping books, with text featuring the name of the play, the date of the performance, and the roles. These handsome designs are seldom seen, and are a nice choice for a kabuki enthusiast or Toyokuni III collector.
Onoe Kikugoro III as Shirai Gonpachi, 1856 - Dramatic kabuki portrait of Onoe Kikugoro III in the famous role of the robber and murderer Shirai Gonpachi committing suicide as policemen close in on him. He stands alone in a boat, plunging a sword into his belly as he turns his head for a last look at the angry townspeople on the shore behind him. His face is shaded blue around the eyes, a sign of his impending death, and blood runs from his wounds down his legs and onto the boat. A rather disturbing image, but a beautifully crafted print with fine detailing, soft shading in the water and dark night sky, a faint burnished pattern on the black kimono, and embossing on the white loincloth.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 13 1/2" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Small repair. Slight rubbing along vertical fold at side and at edges. Please see photos for details.
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