Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Tale of Momoyama: Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kato Kiyomasa, 1896
Comments - Fantastic kabuki portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro IX as the legendary samurai Kato Kiyomasa in the play "Momoyama monogatari." Placed under house arrest by his master Toyotomi Hideyoshi after false accusations, Kiyomasa nevertheless hurries to the palace at Momoyama during a great earthquake to ensure his lord's safety. He is shown standing before the crumbling palace, gripping his sword as debris rains down around him, the wooden grill behind him broken into jagged pieces. He stares to the side with a keen expression, alert and on the lookout. He wears armor and a fine brocade robe, his hair pulled back into a ponytail, his gray bird flowing over his chest. This image appears on page 143 of Amy Reigle Newland's recent book, "Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master, Toyoharu Kunichika." A bold and imposing image, beautifully composed and detailed with fine line work in the hair, touches of burnishing in the armor, and soft bokashi shading in the background. An outstanding kabuki design.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14" x 27 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Horizontal centerfold. A few small holes, slight thinning at corners, repaired. Slight toning, a few creases, slight rubbing at corners, small stain and mark in margin. Please see photos for details. Good overall.