Ochiai (Utagawa) Yoshiiku: Silhouette Portrait of the Actor Ichimura Kakitsu IV (Sold)

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Artist: Ochiai (Utagawa) Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
Title: Silhouette Portrait of the Actor Ichimura Kakitsu IV
Series: Portraits as True Likenesses in the Moonlight   (Makoto no tsuki-hana no sugata e)
Date: 1867

Silhouette of the actor Ichimura Kakitsu IV holding a teapcup. Yoshiiku was perhaps inspired by the play of a silhouette on a screen door, although he also may have been inspired by western sources. Above left we see the actor in a more conventional portrait within a flower-shaped cartouche. A related poem is above, perhaps written or inspired by the actor. This work has beautiful woodgrain and the main silhouette has added bokashi around the edges, giving the profile more depth and interest than the examples that lack the bokashi. Early impression. The MFA has a number of works from this series, but this example would seem to be in superior condition.

Condition: Excellent impression. Very good color and condition. Backed. Small spot on the face of the inset actor.
Dimensions: ôban (36.2 x 24 cm)
Publisher: Maruya Tokuzo
Literature:  See MFA Boston, Honolulu Museum of Art.

Signature: Chokaro Yoshiiku mo