Toshusai Sharaku (fl.circa 1794-1795), late 18th century Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi
Lot 462*
Toshusai Sharaku (fl.circa 1794-1795), late 18th century Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi
Sold for £73,250 (US$ 118,967) inc. premium

Lot Details
Toshusai Sharaku (fl.circa 1794-1795), late 18th century Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi Toshusai Sharaku (fl.circa 1794-1795), late 18th century Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi
Another property
Toshusai Sharaku (fl.circa 1794-1795), late 18th century
Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi
An oban okubi-e print of the kabuki onnagata actor (male actor specialising in female roles) in the role of Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando, in the play Hana-ayame Bunroku Soga (The Iris Soga [brothers] Story of the Bunroku Period), performed at the Miyako theatre in May 1794, published by Tsutaya Juzaburo, with censor's seal Kiwame, signed Toshusai Sharaku ga. 36.8cm x 25.3cm (14½in x 10in).

Footnotes

  • 大判錦絵 東洲斎写楽 二代目瀬川富三朗の蔵人妻やどり木
    18世紀後期

    For other comparable impressions of this print in the British Museum and Guimet Museum, see respectively Narazaki Muneshige (ed.), Hizo ukiyoe taikan. Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections, vol.2, Tokyo, Kodansha, 1987-1991, pl.208 and ibid., vol.6, pl.171. For another impression in the Tokyo National Museum see Ukiyoe shuka, vol.15, Tokyo, Shogakkan, 1980, pl.11. Further impressions are in the collections of the following museums: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Bruxelles; Art Institute of Chicago; Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde, Munich; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Ota Memorial Museum, Tokyo.

    This print is from Sharaku's earliest work, inspired by plays performed in the fifth month of 1794. Little is known of the artist's life apart from the fact that he burst on the Edo art scene in the Spring of 1794 with his series of distinctive bust portraits of actors but quickly disappeared soon after the New Year's kabuki performances of 1795. His actor portraits are rendered unforgettable by the artist's naturalistic suggestion or slight exaggeration of the actor's actual features, especially in the shape of the nose, jaw, and jowls. This print shows the male kabuki actor with highly pronounced eyes and arched eyebrows that evoke a inner hard personality. His tightly closed lips also lend an air of superciliousness - all features which are far removed from the depiction in paintings of a usually passive gaze of women, to which the audience had until then been accustomed.
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