Kunisada: Uchiwa-e (fan print) of an actor holding a pipe
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: Uchiwa-e (fan print) of an actor holding a pipe
Naniwa/Osaka: Cooling off on the Tenpô mountain (Naniwa: Tenpôzan no suzumi). The kabuki actor Nakamura Shikan (1831-1899) is depicted in his yukata summer cotton kimono with his actor’s crest as pattern. In the background is a red sky, reflecting the sunset . He has his kiseru tabacco pipe in his right hand, and still seems to be affected by the heat, as indicated with his gesture of pulling open his collar of the yukata with his left hand. He was a very handsome actor and succeeded the name Shikan in July 1860. He was popular at the time and named ‘the greatest Shikan of all’ (dai-Shikan), however he could not keep up with the development of the acting of the time and his popularity suffered in his late years. Behind him we see the lighthouse, which marks the entrance of the Aji river and some pleasure boats. The Aji river, a branch of the Yodo River in Osaka, had to be dredged in 1831 so that bigger boats could be sailed. The dredged earth and sand were piled up and the artificial hill was constructed as Tenpô mountain. It is therefore a small hill with the height of ca. 20m only. Surrounding the Tenpô a town was built and the harbor became popular with pleasure-seeking people from Naniwa/Osaka.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Iba Senzaburô
Seal: censor’s seals of Mera and Murata; carver’s seal of Yokogawa Takejirô
Signature: Toyokuni ga