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[Bando] Shinsui V - Toyohara  Kunichika prints

[Bando] Shinsui V

By Toyohara Kunichika

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[Bando] Shinsui V - Toyohara  Kunichika print

Toyohara Kunichika
1868

Contact Scholten Japanese Art about [Bando] Shinsui V By Toyohara Kunichika

Date: 1868

Medium: woodblock, woodcut/woodblock/ukiyo-e

Edition size: n/a

Sheet size: 36.8 by 24.3 cm

Condition: excellent

Signature: signed

Price: $900 (excl. taxes)

Description:

From the series "Mirror Sketches from the Backstage Dressing Room," signed Kunichika hitsu with red Toshidama seal, publisher's seal (partially trimmed) Tsunoi (Tsunokuniya Isaburo), ca. 1868-69

oban tate-e 14 1/2 by 9 5/8 in., 36.8 by 24.3 cm

With the opening of the port of Yokohama to foreign ships in 1859, Western goods and materials which previously had been exotic, expensive, and quite often nearly unobtainable, were suddenly readily available and reasonably acquired. The modern looking glass, although far more easily broken than a heavy bronze disc, offered a more practical and realistic reflection of the viewer, and as such, very quickly replaced traditional polished bronze Japanese mirrors. Kunichika alludes to this new realism in this rare series by presenting true portraits of the actors, not as we see them, but as they see themselves in their own looking glass. In this example, Kunichika captures an intense moment in the reflection of Bando Shinsui V (Hikosaburo V, 1832-1877), with a copy of his libretto resting against his shoulder. The poem in the lobed-flower cartouche is signed with his poetry name, Shinsui. Hikosaburo V was one of the most talented kabuki actors of the mid to late 19th century, his virtuosity in portraying a wide range of roles was much like his contemporary and greatest rival, Nakamura Shikan IV (1831-99).

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