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 - Fabulous Sharaku print of the actor Otani Tokuji as Sodesuke, a yakko or low-ranking manservant. He looks up with his lips pursed, one hand clenched as he attempts to restrain his emotion. His other hand grips the sheath of his sword. He wears a simple dark kimono over a soft green under robe with a black collar, the red sheath of the sword adding the brightest note of color to the design. A moving, expressive portrait imbued with emotion. A great image from the play "Hana Ayame Bunroku Soga" with a distressed dark mica background.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 14 3/8" x 9 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse near corner. Slight toning, a few creases and small spots. Please see photos for details. Good overall.