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 - Terrific double portrait of Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando, and her maidservant Wakakusa, played by Nakamura Manyo, in a scene from "Hana Ayame Bunroku Soga." Yadorigi wears a tan robe over a soft rose kimono patterned with delicate leaves, her hand held gracefully before her chest. The corners of her lips curve up slightly as she looks over her shoulder, her maid crouching subserviently beside her. The two form an interesting pair, with the tall, elegant Yadorigi in contrast to the full-faced Wakakusa. Lovely muted color and a distressed mica background in this handsome design.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 15 1/4" x 9 3/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Slight toning, a few creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.