Yoshitoshi: Snow: Iwakura no Sôgen played by Onoe Baikô
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Snow: Iwakura no Sôgen played by Onoe Baikô
Series: Snow, moon and flowers: Setsu Gekka no uchi
Date: 1890/8 (Meiji 23)
This is one of a series of three showing half-lengthportraits of actors. Onoe Baikô V (Onoe Kikugorô V, 1844-1903) played the role of Sôgen in the play Hanafubuki, a fact that is mentioned on the second state of this triptych. Sôgen has been expelled from his temple after falling in love with the beautiful courtesan Irokotohime. Death has claimed her, so he is left with nothing but her memory.Tales of the priest Sôgen were first adapted to the kabuki theatre in the 1670s and since then many versions were written. Sôgen/Seigen is a tragic figure who eventually starved to death. This is one of Yoshitoshi’s works in his final years, when he was stricken with poveryy and illness, yet his power of design is stronger than ever.
Setsu: Iwakura no Sôgen Onoe Baikô
Condition: Excellent impression; very good color and condition. Some red pigment transfer on snow on leftmost panel.
Dimensions: ôban triptych
Publisher: Akiyama Buemon
Literature: Beauty & Violence p.90
Seal: carver’s: Hori-Yû
Signature: Yoshitoshi ga with “Yoshitoshi” oval seal in red