Utagawa Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III)

Actor Nakamura Tsuruzo I as Hiraga Jirozo , 1863

woodblock print

oban tate-e 5 5/8 by 10 1/2 in., 39.6 by 26.7 cm

$2,200 - $5,500

Scholten Japanese Art

New York, NY



signed Ki-o (content seventy-seven year old master) Toyokuni ga within his Toshidama cartouche, with carver's seal Horiko Ryuzo(Shimizu Ryuzo), publisher's seal Sho, Kinshodo (Ebisuya Shoshichi of Kinshodo), and combined censor and date seal, I-ni, aratame(year of the Boar [1863], 2nd month)

oban tate-e 5 5/8 by 10 1/2 in., 39.6 by 26.7 cm

This print is part of the untitled series known as Kinshodo-ban yakusha okubie-e (Kinshodo's Large-Head Actor Portraits), which he began late in his life. As this was meant to be Kunisada's grandest actor series, it was produced on thick paper with the best possible pigments and highest level of craftsmanship. The ambitious series depicted great actors from the past and present in famous roles.

Nakamura Tsuruzo (Nakamura Nakazo III, 1809-1886) was primarily an excellent supporting actor who was also a particularly accomplished dancer. He held the name Nakamura Tsuruzo from 1818 to 1865.

Robert Schaap, Kunisada: Imaging Drama and Beauty, 2016, p. 115, no. 117