Toyokuni II: Fan Print of Ichikawa Danjuro VII and two kabuki actors as Bats (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni II (ca. 1802-1835)
Title: Fan Print of Ichikawa Danjuro VII and two kabuki actors as Bats
Date: 1829

Creatively delightful scene from a kabuki play showing three characters as anthropomorphic bats. The central character is most certainly Ichikawa Danjûrô VII, as he is associated with the gourd pattern that is shown prominently on the front part of his costume. He wears two swords and carries a drinking flask that appears to bear the symbol of the publisher of this work. He raises one arm (wing?) as if he has just struck, or threatened to strike, the character at our left, who recoils, while the character at right bears a cheerful expression. As well as incorporating gourd patterns, Danjuro actors also incorporated bat patterns in their clothing. Bats (komori), written as 蝙蝠 with a second character that closely resembles 福 (good luck), are perhaps where this association comes from. The two side-bats have an oxidized lead orange pigment in their lower bodies. Very scarce design; possibly unique, as no other examples could be found online.

Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good/good condition. Upper right corner is repaired/replaced and there are some restorations in lower right corner. Minor restored binding holes at left.
Dimensions: uchiwa-e (23 x 29.3 cm)
Publisher:sealed Jû; For publisher Maru-Jû, who seems to only have published fan prints
Signature: Toyokuni kyô-hitsu (mad brush of Toyokuni)