Hirosada, Two Actors

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Two Actors, 1848 - 50. Deluxe Chuban Diptych.

It is sometimes hard to define whether two prints form a diptych, a short series or are companion prints. There is still dispute over some Kunisada series where pairs of prints go together but where there is no ‘fit’. During the difficult period in Osaka of the Tempo Reforms, print production was sporadic and as in the case of this disarmingly simple and yet quite stunning Hirosada, there is scant information regarding the actors or the scenes depicted, or when and how the piece was issued.

What we have is a pair of matching prints of excellent quality. Two actor portraits in simple poses but drawn with incredible brevity and elegance. The hair line in the kimono of the left hand figure is picked out in silver and both actors are drawn with the most delicate of lines and understated colours. Osaka at its peak produced some of the best drawn art works of the nineteenth century and these two portraits are a fine example of Hirosada’s mature style - confident, understated and elegant.

The two sheets are unattached and on album backing paper. They are in mint condition, very fine colour and fresh silver metallic threads to the kimono. Clean and crisp early edition from presumably a short print run.

Each piece 18cm x 24cm.