Original Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864) Japanese Woodblock Print
Leaping Beauty and Supernatural Light, 1834
Comments - Fantastic kabuki scene from the play "Hana to Mitsu Yuki no Shiraishi." In the center, a beauty leaps high in the air, fending off Uji Hyobunosuke's sword with a blossoming cherry branch. She stares at her attacker with a frightened expression, her eyes wide and her mouth slightly agape. Her robes flutter in the air and her hair flies wildly around her face. With her other hand, she grips the end of a brocade banner held up by the samurai Matsue Kurando at right. A yellow sun on the banner sends a shaft of supernatural light across the dark night sky, illuminating the beauty and the faces of the two men. Kurando regards her with a scowl, wearing a fur vest over a patterned kimono and pants, and a suit of armor, his two swords at his side. At left, Hyobunosuke reacts with a worried frown, the sleeves of his blue kimono pushed down to the waist to reveal an interesting netted robe over his armor. The handle of his sword is the top of a shakujou, a pilgrim's staff, so the blade must have been concealed within the staff. From left, the actors are Bando Mitsugoro IV, Iwai Hanshiro VI as Sakura, and Sawamura Tossho I. Terrific handling of the effects of light and shade to create a dramatic effect, with beautiful bokashi shading. A great design.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 15" x 30 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight paper remnants on reverse at top corners from previous mounting. A few small holes, repaired. Slight creasing, soiling, and rubbing. Please see photos for details. Good overall.