Kunisada: Dragon Cloud: Group Six: No NA Koishikawa (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title:  Group Six: No NA Koishikawa 六番組 な」「小石川」「犬山道節 市川白猿)
Series: Edo no hana meisho-e 江戸廼花名勝会 (Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places)
Date: 1864

Ichimura Hakuen in the role of Inuyama Dosetsu. Lower right is a scene from a play based on the famous novel known as the “Eight Dog Heroes”, or Hakkenden. This character of Inuyama Dosetsu, a known magician,  is brandishing a famous sword, from which a dragon emanates and ascends to the sky within a dark cloud, lightning flashing. To the left is a scene of the Tokyo district of Koishikawa in Bunkyo ward.

江戸廼花名勝会 六番組 な」「小石川」「犬山道節 市川白猿)Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864)

Other artist: Yoshitora. Other artist: Shigekiyo

The term “flowers of Edo” (Edo no hana) can refer, among other things, to fires. The title panel for each print in this series shows the lanterns and identifying standard (matoi) for one of the brigades of firefighters (hikeshi) assigned to various districts. On the west side of the Sumida River were 48 brigades named for the symbols of the kana syllabary and grouped into 8 numbered groups (1 to 10, minus the bad-luck numbers 4 and 7). On the east side of the river, brigades were numbered and assigned to directional groups. Outlying districts were covered by special brigades, here designated “extra” (bangai). Each title gives the name or number of a brigade, its group, and its district, followed by the kabuki scene chosen to match it. 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. 

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: ôban (35.2 x 24.2 cm)
Publisher: Katôya Iwazoô (Seibei)
Literature: See MFA, FAMSF (Achenbach) museums online for other works from this series. A reference book has been privately published by Simon Henry that examines this entire series.
Signature: Toyokuni ga