Kunisada, Anthology of Actor Portraits Past and Present

Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865) Anthology Of Actor Portraits Past And Present, 1863. Oban.

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This is a very fine print by Kunisada from the last couple of years of his life. Three delicate actor portraits set on the image of an album page… a picture within a picture, roles and actor names clearly identifiable. The condition is very good indeed, clear and crisp throughout, superb colour, impression and condition.

This is a very large series: portraits of 302 actors from the past and present, arranged according to their families… their actor clans. This was a huge commitment for Kunisada to take on at the age of seventy-eight, something that he goes out of his way to emphasise by writing in his signature cartouche, Painted by seventy-eight year old Toyokuni ("nanajuhachi sai Toyokuni hitsu").

The actors from top are: Otani Jitsucho IV as Nanba no Jiro; Tokuji I as Dechi Igo; and Tomoemon I as Soga no Dansaburo.

Colour, impression and condition are all fine. A great actor print.

Published by: Hirookaya Kosuke.

Signed: nanajuhachi sai Toyokuni hitsu.

37 x 26 cm.