Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795) Japanese Woodblock Reprint
Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi
Sharaku - Not much is known about the woodblock print artist Toshusai Sharaku, who specialized in kabuki portraits. His career spanned only ten months from 1794 to 1795, with around 150 prints known. Unlike his contemporaries, Sharaku did not idealize his subjects, instead creating realistic portrayals that were not always flattering, and his prints were not a popular success at the time. His best works convey a rare perceptivity, with a psychological insight and a deep understanding of the dramatic nature of the roles and the actors he depicted. Sharaku left behind a body of masterworks of ukiyo-e kabuki portraiture that remained unrecognized until a century after his death.
Publisher - Adachi from a rare series of Edo masterwork designs. Adachi publisher seal in margin or on reverse.
Adachi was one of the most respected publishers of the 20th century. Their woodblocks were printed to the highest standards with excellent color and fine detail. Founded in 1925, Adachi also chose interesting and varied subjects for their prints and was the only publisher of many famous old ukiyo-e images.
Comments - Terrific portrait of Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando, in the kabuki play "Hana Ayame Bunroku Soga." Her lips tightly pursed, Yadorigi looks ahead with a resolute expression, pulling up the collar of her black outer kimono, which features a colorful design of chrysanthemums, over an orange under robe. Her hair is pulled back into a large bun, with lovely handling to show the transparency of the comb. A handsome Sharaku design with the warm red tones of the kimono contrasting beautifully with the dark silver mica background.
Artist - Sharaku (active 1794 - 1795)
Image Size - 15 1/8" x 10 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Good overall.