Hirosada, Kabuki Portrait of Koharu

Gosotei Hirosada (ca. 1810 - 1864) Portrait of Nakayami Nanshi II as Koharu, 1849. Deluxe Chuban.

Hirosada was an Osaka school artist and produced many actor portraits associated with the Naka-za theatre there. In this striking deluxe portrait Hirosada portrays the actor Nakayami Nanshi II in the role of Koharu, the prostitute lover of Jihei who has a devoted wife, Osan, and two children. The love affair is doomed and various characters conspire to thwart the two lovers. Eventually Jihei’s father-in-law takes his daughter away, leaving behind the children. The suffering of Osan is the climax of the play. In the final act, Jihei and Koharu descend into hell and ascend to death at daybreak. Koharu expresses sorrow for the hardship she has caused Osan and Jihei stabs her, hanging himself with her sash.

This is another exceptional print by Hirosada. The edition is rich with mica and the surface glimmers with metallic pigment and burnishing. Full size, the colour is fine and the impression very fresh.