Kunichika: Ichikawa Sadanji I as Akiyama Kii no kami Amidst a Conflagration (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900)
Title: Ichikawa Sadanji I as Akiyama Kii no kami Amidst a Conflagration
Series: New Plays of the Meiji-za (Meiji-za shinkyogen)
Date: 1894

The actor Ichikawa Sadanji I as Akiyama Kii no kami poses dramatically against a brilliant wall of flames, looking towards an entrance gate at left. He holds a short sword by the blade, indicating that he intends to not be taken alive by the enemy. Sadanji created the illustrious Meiji-za theater when he renamed the Chitose-za theater in 1893 after becoming its managing director.This is one of Kunichika’s finest works. From the historical play “The Koshu War Strategy and the Takeda Clan Preparing for Battle”. Exceptionally printed, with mica on the blade of the sword and great attention paid to many details.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Untrimmed and unbacked. Some minor restorations to white margin.

Literature: See Chazen museum online collection. See “Toyohara Kunichika 1835-1900: Time present and time past, Images of a forgotten master”, page 136, number 114. In the New York Times review of the exhibition, Utagawa: Masters of the Japanese Print, 1770-1900 from March 22, 2008 there is not only a full-color reproduction of this triptych, but also these comments by Ken Johnson: "Also extraordinary is Toyohara Kunichika’s dramatic wide-angle picture from 1894 of an actor dressed in a sumptuously patterned costume surrounded by vividly colored flames. With a fierce expression on his face, he poses with extended arms; holding a sword in one hand, he prepares to commit seppuku, or ritual suicide."

Dimensions: ôban triptych 37 x 75 cm

Publisher: Akiyama Buemon

Signature: Toyohara Kunichika hitsu