Kunisada: Four-panel Ghost Print
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: Four-panel Ghost Print
Series: Edo no hana meisho-e (Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places)
A complete tetraptych of four sheets showing actors from the play Yotsuya Kaidan. One creepy flame-headed ghost originates in the rightmost sheet and ends on the leftmost sheet, only its neck spreading across the first three sheets. 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. Collaborating artists here include Sadahide, Kyôsai and Hiroshige II. From right to left are shown the actors Onoe Baiko as Kobotoke Kohei; Bandô Hikosaburô V as the Ghost of Oiwa; Seki Sanjûrô II as Naosuke Gonbei; Kataoka Nizaemon VII in the role of Tamigaya Iemon. The large ghost on the top of the left sheet was done by Kyôsai, master of ghost portraits. Rare to have all four complete, and ghost images have become very sought-after.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Repaired binding holes near one margin of each sheet.
Dimensions: ôban four-panel print (35.9 x 98.4 cm)
Publisher: Katôya Iwazoô (Seibei)
Literature: See MFA website.
Seal: Blockcutter: Horikô Ryûzô
Signature: Toyokuni ga