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Memorial Portrait of Actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, 1854 by Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)

Item Number: 875062

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Auction Type: Standard Auction
Auction Category: Edo Era, 1603 - 1868
Item Number: 875062
 
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This item was purchased by Scotbuyer29. (Bid History)


Memorial Portrait of Actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, 1854 by Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)

Original Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) Japanese Woodblock Print
Memorial Portrait of Actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, 1854

Shini-e - Literally meaning "death prints," shini-e are a category of Japanese woodblock commemorating the death of a famous kabuki actor, or less commonly, an artist or musician. These memorial portraits often depict the actor dressed in light blue death robes, or portraying a famous role associated with the individual. Some include verses or death poems along with the actor's age and date of death, or a posthumous Buddhist name. Other conventional iconography includes lotus blossoms or petals, incense burners, and prayer beads. The tragic suicide of Ichikawa Danjuro VIII in 1854 at the age of thirty-two resulted in nearly 200 shini-e of the actor. Some shini-e are recycled from earlier kabuki prints with the background blocks recut so they could be rushed into production. Most shini-e are unsigned, although some include the artist's signature. These designs are an interesting area of collecting.

Comments - Handsome memorial portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, who appears at lower right looking up at the sky as he fingers a string of prayer beads beneath his sleeves. Autumn grasses and blossoms fill the background at left behind verses in delicate calligraphy. A lovely memorial tribute to this popular kabuki actor, in an unusual triptych format.

Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14" x 29"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with somewhat stiff paper. Slight toning. Please see photos for details.


Memorial Portrait of Actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, 1854 by Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)

Memorial Portrait of Actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII, 1854 by Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)

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