Yoshiiku: Imitation Photograph of Actor (Sold)
Artist: Utagawa Yoshiiku
Title: Imitation Photograph of Actor
Series: Mirror of Photographs of Actors (Hayu Shasin Kyo)
Astonishing portrait of the actor Sawamura Tanosuke III in the role of Sato-e, the sister of Gennosuke. From the play “Hana ayame katami ezoshi”, performed in the 5th month of 1870. In probably the best design in the series, the actor regards the viewer with frank intensity in a way that feels decades ahead of its time. The woman he is playing was disabled, and here is seated on a platform that seems to act as a conveyance. Tanosuke III was himself disabled as he had to have a leg amputated following a tragic accident that occurred during a kabuki performance. Perhaps the only kabuki print that shows a disabled actor playing the role of a disabled person. This fascinating series imitates photographs, and the colors and printing convey with realism the colors and textures of a hand-painted photograph. The BM example also has the added title, lower left.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Publisher: Kiya Sojiro
Literature: See BM website for their example.