Kunisada: Actor with Butterfly Robe and Autumn Moon at Akashi

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864)
Title: Autumn Moon at Akashi (Akashi aki no tsuki)
Series: Genji Compared with Imaginary Eight Views (Genji Mitate hakkei no uchi)
Date: 1858

A young actor gazes up rather dreamily towards the departing ship that is shown in the background behind him. He seems to wear the (Rustic) Genji hairstyle, and his outer robe is beautifully decorated with colorful butterflies and autumn grasses. The robe also features an oxidized grey lead pigment that also lends the scene the feeling of autumn. Both the Rustic Genji and the Eight Views themes were extremely popular subjects in Edo Japan, so combining them offered a fresh take for Kunisada (and his student Kunihisa, who drew the background scene). In the background view of Akashi, we see the full autumn moon and a line of plovers flying over the waves. The quality of the printing is exceptional.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Small spot at right.
Dimensions: ôban (36.5 x 24.8 cm)
Publisher: Kakumotoyo Kinjiro
Literature: See MFA website for others from this series.
Signature: ni konomi Toyokuni ga  (by special request)