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Kunihiro

Description:
(1R) Ichikawa Ebijûrô I (市川鰕十郎) as Ukisu no Iwamatsu (うきすの岩松), (2R) Arashi Kitsusaburô II (嵐吉三郎) as the farmer [hyakusei] Jusaku (百姓十作), (3R) Sawamura Kunitarô II (沢村國太郎) as Jusaku's wife [nyôbô] Okinu (十作女房お絹) in Keisei kakehashi monogatari (けいせい棧物語) at the Naka Theater, Osaka
Signature:
Kunihiro ga
Seals:
No artist seal
Publisher:
Tenki (Tenmaya Kihei)
Date:
5/1827
Format:
(H x W)
Ôban triptych nishiki-e
36.6 (39.3 left) x 79 cm
Impression:
Excellent, with embossing
Condition:
Excellent color (L sheet) and very good (R & C), unbacked; two repaired wormholes in mirror positions on R & C sheets, one long crease (C), assorted marks and rubbing
Price (USD/¥):
$680 / ¥ ... contact us
RESERVED   

Order/Inquiry KUH44

Comments:
Background

The plot of the kabuki play Keisei kakehashi monogatari (Story of a courtesan and a bridge over the gorge: けいせい棧物語) appears not to have survived.

Kitsusaburô II performed two roles in this production: as shown here, hyakusei [farmer] Jûsaku (百姓十作), and as Tsukimoto Hajimenosuke (月本始之助).

Design

It is fascinating to note how different artists handled the same scene from the same production. For example, Ashiyuki placed the same protagonists (including the child) before the setting sun, but in place of the rice fields shown by Kunihiro, Ashiyuki's triptych depicts a bay behind the actors and Mount Fuji in the far distance (on the middle sheet) — see IKBYS-I, no. 267). Moreover, Kunihiro does not identify the child actor and role, but they are given on the Ashiyuki triptych as Arashi Kitsuzô performing as Jukichi.

The rays of the setting sun radiate across two of the sheets, animating the composition. The colors in this impression are well preserved, especially on the left sheet, where the red has a pink tonality indicative of fresh beni (紅 red pigment extracted from saffron, carthamus tinctorious).

Provenance

The left sheet (larger than the others) is from the late print dealer Paul Schweitzer (1993), while the right and center sheets are from the famed Okada Isajiro (岡田伊三次郎) Collection (a celebrated private Japanese collection not seen in public for more than 70 years that was featured in Kuroda Genji's 1929 Kamigata-e ichiran, Review of Kamigata Pictures, and thought to have been lost until its miraculous reappearance and gradual dispersal starting in the year 2000). Completing polyptychs in such a manner is quite familiar to dealers and dedicated collectors, and indicative of the rarity of this triptych and the virtue of patience in collecting.

References: IBKYS-II, no. 43 (Kunihiro triptych); SSO, p. 55, no. 35 (Kunihiro triptych); IKBYS-I, no. 267 (Ashiyuki triptych)