Kunisada, Ichikawa Ibizo as Goro from the play Ya-no-ne

Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865) Ichikawa Ibizo as Goro from the play Ya-no-ne, 1820’s. Oban.

A rare early print by Kunisada that is very much in the manner of his teacher Toyokuni I. The play is basically one short scene, bombastic or aragato in style as befits the Ichikawa clan of actors who specialised in violent performances. Ibizo plays the vengeful Soga Goro, one of two famous hero brothers set on avenging their father’s death. The stylised scene is set in Goro’s rooms, surrounded by gigantic weapons. He is given a magical scroll for his birthday and dreams of his brother being held prisoner. He leaps from the dream to go to his brother’s aid and chances upon a seller of radishes. He takes the poor man’s horse and picks up a gigantic radish as well with which he exits the stage using the vegetable as a riding crop.

The print is utterly terrific… the drawing is bold and incisive and the style still uses the archaic manner of flattened space and drab monochrome colours. Goro wears the typical stage make up and wig of the action hero - the horse though is imaginary.

These early Kunisada prints which hint at his very few warrior prints of the same period are rather rare and this one is especially good. The impression and colour are fine and the condition overall is good, with some surface wear and album fold to right edge. A distinctive and rare print.

36 x 27 cm.