Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
Loyal Nursemaid and Heir, 1884
Comments - Handsome scene from a kabuki play based on the true story of the contested Date Clan succession in the 17th century. The loyal nursemaid Masaoka has been charged with protecting young Tsuruchiyo, the heir to the clan, who is in danger of being poisoned. To protect him, Masaoka has kept him in private quarters, preparing his food herself using only her tea ceremony implements. Here she holds presents a bottle on an offering tray to the youth, looking over her shoulder with a wary frown. Her young son, Senmatsu, smiles up at her. From left, the actors are Sawamura Genpei, Suketakya Takasuke, and Sawamura Yoshijiro. Nice large colorful figures set off by a spare background with bamboo and sparrows in calligraphic strokes, a reference to the room in the palace which was decorated with that theme. Beautifully detailed with a burnished geometric pattern on Masaoka's black kimono, accents of metallic pigment that have oxidized to a dark tone on the beauty's kimono, a burnished bamboo pattern on Tsuruchiyo's black kimono, and embossing on the bright pink kimono and the white kimono collars and trim.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 7/8" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels, backed with paper. Vertical folds. Slight soiling, a few spots and creases, offsetting from metallic pigment. Please see photos for details.