Hirosada, Onaka from the play Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Onaka from the play Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami, c.1848. Osaka Chuban.

A very lovely and captivating print by Hirosada of the curio shop owner’s daughter Onaka. There is so much style to this drawing, the abstraction to the facial features, the delicacy of the mouth and the beautifully executed, wave like pattern to the fabric, hinting in its vigorous movement at the turmoil of the character. Hirosada was also an extremely fine colourist; there is immense sophistication in the balance of the strong bright colours of the background and the quietness with which the figure is represented. Hirosada was undoubtedly one of the very great ukiyo artists not only of Osaka but of Edo as well. There is gradual recognition of his skills as an artist and of the extraordinary ability of the Osaka printers and this is beginning to be reflected in sales prices.

The play from which the portrait is taken is an eighteenth century crime and love melodrama concerning the swindling of the customers of a curio shop and the love affair between Onaka, the daughter of the owner and the rakish Seshichi. The play ends in a watchman’s hut with a murder and the two lovers eloping with some stolen money.

A very fine print with margins, fine colour, impression and condition.

17cm x 25cm.