Kunisada: Complete Tetraptych of Ghosts from the Play Yotsuya Kaidan

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) and Other Artists
Title: Complete Tetraptych of Ghosts from the Play Yotsuya KaidanSeries: Edo no hana meisho-e (Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places)
Date: 1863

A complete tetraptych of four sheets showing actors from the play Yotsuya Kaidan. One creepy flame-headed ghost originates in the rightmost sheet and ends on the leftmost sheet, only its neck spreading across the first three sheets. The large ghost on the  top of the left sheet was done by Kyôsai, master of ghost portraits.  From right to left are shown the actors Onoe Baiko as Kobotoke Kohei, nailed to th door and with flames emitting from his fingertips. Then there is Bandô Hikosaburô V as the Ghost of Oiwa, her deformed onryo face emitting from a lantern.  Then we see Seki Sanjûrô II as Naosuke Gonbei, kitchen knife in his teeth. The leftmost sheet shows Kataoka Nizaemon VII in the role of the villain Tamigaya Iemon, the head of a ghost-flame that began on the right sheet heading right for him.  As with all works from this series, there is a lot going on in each design, as in the upper right are the standards and lanterns for specific fire brigades, and on the upper left are usually magic lantern slides. Then there are one or two designs that comprise the lower portion, with Kunisada designing the actor portrait and various (21 in total for the series) other artists designing the landscape scenes. Collaborating artists here include Sadahide, Kyôsai and Hiroshige II. 於 六番組 市ヶ谷 小仏小平 尾上梅寿」 「く 五番組 四谷 於岩の亡霊 坂東彦三郎」 「や 語番組 麹町 直助権兵衛 関三十郎」 「ま 五番組 喰違 民谷伊右衛門 片岡仁左衛門」 『江戸廼華名勝会』

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban four-panel print (each sheet approx 36 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Katôya Iwazoô (Seibei)
Literature: See MFA website and National Museum of Asian Art Collection for the Moscowitz example.  Seal: Blockcutter: Horikô Ryûzô
Signature: Toyokuni ga