Original Sadanobu II (active circa 1848 - 1886) Japanese Woodblock Print
Beauties and Shamisen Player
Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.
Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.
Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.
Comments - Handsome Osaka kabuki triptych depicting a group of beauties and a man holding a shamisen. The women are deep in conversation, the young beauty at left holding her hand to her chin with a dismayed expression. The other women exchange stern glances, while the musician watches with interest, adjusting the blue cloth wrapped about his head. Beautiful vibrant color and fine detail in the sumptuous kimono fabrics. An unusual full oban format print from a popular Osaka artist whose works were most often in chuban form. A great choice for a collector.
Artist - Sadanobu II (active circa 1848 - 1886)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - With excellent color and detail as shown. Three panels, not attached. A few small holes, repaired. Slight creasing and soiling, slight fraying at edges. Please see photos for details. Good overall.