Kunisada: Nakamura Shikan IV Fits a Wig Backstage (Sold)

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: Nakamura Shikan IV Fits a Wig Backstage
Date: 1861

The kabuki actor Nakamura Shikan IV fits a wig to his head backstage in his dressing room. We see the wig-fitter’s arm and hands assisting, special hair pick tool at the ready. The actor sits before a red lacquer mirror and seems to be wearing a dressing robe. Shikan IV took the name in 1860; previously he was known as Nakamura Fukusuke I. He was a great Meiji actor who achieved fame all over Japan, only retiring from kabuki in 1898. From an interesting series of prints showing actors backstage preparing for their onstage roles.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Minor pigment transfer on attendant’s arm. Untrimmed and unbacked.
Dimensions: ôban (36.7 x 25.2 cm)
Signature: Kiyo Toyokuni ga
Publisher:Tsujiya Yasubei
Literature: Edo Tokyo Museum, acquisition no. 91200235. Waseda University Theatre Museum, acquisition no. 120-0214.