Kunisada, Actors Viewing Cherry Blossom

Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865) Actors Fukusuke Nakamura, Ichizo Ichikawa, (centre sheet), Nizaemon Kataoka,  Hikosaburo Bando, (right) Viewing Cherry Blossom, 1857. Oban Triptych.

Click here for a detailed enlargement.

There is little to write about this stunning triptych, except really to sit back and admire the great beauty of this venerable cherry tree acting as an imposing backdrop to a group of kabuki actors. It is most likely that these were the stars of the new season of performances and that this was issued as a fan piece… a rather elaborate and beautiful way to collect an ensemble print of favourite kabuki stars. Of course the parallels with contemporary movie posters are obvious, but this print has a rare beauty and serenity.

The colour and impression are all fine, the condition is very good with superb bokashi, graduated shading and very bold woodgrain in the background, a few edge frits but otherwise fine. Full size.

Published by Mikawaya Tetsugoro.

74.5 x 36 cm.