Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865) The Sumo Wrestler Hidenoyama Raigoro, 1845. Oban.
During the period of the Tempo reforms (1842) it was forbidden to depict prostitutes, actors or kabuki dramas in woodblock prints. Although artists and publishers found ways around the censorship laws, sumo, a subject unaffected by the regulations, became a highly popular theme. Kunisada produced many sumo portraits and this robust piece of design from 1845 depicts Hidenoyama Raigorō of the Makuuchi league. The portrait is signed Toyokuni ga (from the brush of Toyokuni); also note the Toshidama seal of the Utagawa school beneath the signature.
Good condition overall; unfaded; trimmed with some slight damage to edges.
35 x 25 cm.