Kuniyoshi: Drawing of Sawamura Sôjûrô V as Soga Jurô
Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Title: Drawing of Sawamura Sôjûrô V as Soga Jurô
Date: ca 1840s
Preparatory drawing for a woodblock print. The evidence is strong that this is a portrait of Sawamura Sôjûro V, portraing Soga Jurô Sukenari. The main clues are the palanquin and the hanging willow branches in front of a full moon. We see these three elements in the published print “Tiger” (Tora) from the series “Selection for the Twelve Signs” from ca. 1845 (Robinson S38.3); see MFA for image. In the published print the actor is shown standing, leaning with his elbow on the palanquin. The face is the same and the willow is shown overhead with the moon behind. Kuniyoshi must have chosen what he felt was a more dramatic pose for the final design, and this drawing shows him working out another idea. Sôjôrô V was active 1844-1848.
Condition: Area of paper loss, lower left.
Dimensions: 30.5 x 23 cm, approx.