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.
A Special Group - We recently acquired a special group of fine old Sharaku reprints. These are the best Sharaku reprints we have found, expertly printed with crisp line work, and shimmering distressed mica backgrounds that emulate the look of an original with a nice sense of age. If these iconic kabuki designs appeal to you, bid now, before they are gone!
Comments - Dramatic portrait of Ichikawa Omezo as Ippei, a yakko or manservant in the play "Koi Nyobo Somewake Tazuna." Omezo was just fourteen years old when this design was made, and would go on to become a very important actor. He has just drawn his sword and hesitates a moment, frowning as he looks ahead intently. He wears a red kimono with a black collar, a striking contrast with his pale skin, and his hair sticks out wildly around his face. A beautifully expressive image, enhanced with a shimmering gray mica background. A fine example of the artist's work that would make a great display.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 15 1/8" x 10" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. A few small holes. Slight toning, a few creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.