Hironobu, Portrait of an Actor against a Wall

Kinoshita Hironobu (active c1851 - 1872) Portrait of an actor against a wall, c 1860. Chuban.

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This very striking chuban sized Osaka print is by Kinoshita Hironobu. It is from a short series of prints all set against a striking brick wall motif. The known characters are all otokodate - the members of organised gangs that sprang up in the urban centres of Japan at this time. Their members and exploits were romanticised for the theatre audiences and they became folk heroes, portrayed as tragic and doomed but essentially moral and charitable… a far cry in fact from the truth.

Almost nothing is known of Hironobu. He was a pupil of Hirosada, but was nowhere near as prolific nor as visible as his contemporary Yoshitaki.

This is a fine Osaka print, in pristine condition. Fresh, clean embossing to the drapery and lovely bright colours. Japanese album backing.

25 x 18.5 cm.