Doing Penance beneath a Waterfall

by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

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Doing Penance beneath a Waterfall by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

Original Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940) Japanese Woodblock Print
Doing Penance beneath a Waterfall

Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.

Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.

Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.

Comments - Terrific, full oban Osaka kabuki triptych depicting a pilgrim doing penance beneath a rushing waterfall as a samurai confronts him. The samurai frowns angrily as he holds up a torch, wearing a colorful print kimono over a suit of armor, a white sash tied around his forehead. The pilgrim stares back at him with an alarmed expression as water splashing over his head and shoulders. A beauty at right watches with a smile, holding a naginata with both hands. Her red robe features a chrysanthemum pattern with tie-dyed butterflies, tied with a black obi featuring yellow and purple medallions. A wonderful design with large expressive figures, beautifully detailed with embossing in the white kimono, burnishing in the armor, and vibrant colored, in a striking natural setting.

Artist - Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)

Image Size - 14 1/8" x 28" + top margin as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Vertical folds near seams between panels. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.

Doing Penance beneath a Waterfall by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)
Doing Penance beneath a Waterfall by Sadanobu II (1848 - 1940)