Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865) Iwai Shijaku I as an Oiran, c 1823. Oban.
This delicate and very beautiful print is from early in Kunisada’s career. Exceptional here is the fact that the print has survived completely untrimmed and in such very fine condition. It portrays the actor Iwai Shijaku I in a female role, pausing at a rustic gate. It is impossible not to admire the extreme delicacy and very beautiful colouration of this print.
Shijaku was born Iwai Komurasaki, adopting the name of Shijaku in 1822. He was a talented onnagata actor (female impersonator) with a beautiful face who was much celebrated and tragically died young in 1845. In this print he is playing the part of an Oiran - a high caste of Geisha. The delicacy of colouring on this print is exceptional as is the bokashi shading on the gown. This is a very fine, crisp, early edition in a remarkably fine state of preservation.
Published by Shimizuya.
Size 38cm x 28cm.
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