Hirosada, Portrait of an Actor

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Portrait of an actor, 1849. Deluxe Chuban.

A fine portrait of a kabuki actor in role. The scant information available on the Osaka theatre scene renders accurate identification vey difficult in some cases. Nevertheless, the portrait is utterly outstanding. The features display Hirosada’s mature style at its very best. The complexity with which Hirosada added to features and especially the eyes during the peak of his career is astonishing. The construction of arcs and curves which delineate the details is considered and mannered, yet within these self imposed restraints, Hirosada is able to weave a portrait of huge complexity and insight. As a peerless designer, Hirosada meets the delicacy of the facial features with a robust, calligraphic collision of lines in the rag tied around the head and the arabesques that describe the richly patterned robes. Against this profusion of curvilinear drawing, Hirosada drops the straight shaft of the arrow, cutting the corner of the composition and pushing the figure back behind the picture plane. It is possible that the actor is in the role of a character from the Chushingura.

A fine print, richly decorated with gold ink and other embellishments. The colour, impression and condition are all fine.

17cm x 25cm.