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Collection

An image of Congratulatory announcement at the Nakamura theatre, showing the troupe of actors seated on the stage by Utagawa KUNISADA II

Utagawa KUNISADA II

(Japan 1823 – 1880)

Title
Congratulatory announcement at the Nakamura theatre, showing the troupe of actors seated on the stage, from an album of 'ukiyo-e' woodblock prints of 'kabuki' actors
Place of origin
Japan
Period
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
Year
late 1870s?
Media categories
Print, Book
Materials used
colour woodcut; 'oban' triptych
Dimensions

36.0 x 73.0 cm image; 36.0 x 24.0 x 1.5 book

Signature & date
(right sheet) signed "oju Kunisada ga [designed by Kunisada to order]", block carver's seal of Katada Chojiro; (centre sheet) signed "Kunisada ga", unidentified block carver's seal; (left sheet) signed "Kunisada ga", Katada Chojiro block carver's seal, 11th generation Murayama Genbei publisher's seal. No censor's seals.
Credit
James and Robin Patricia Giffen Bequest 2005
Accession number
280.2005.1
Location
Not on display
Further information

The album contains 34 striking images of kabuki actors by six late 19th century woodblock print designers: Utagawa KUNISADA I (1786-1864), Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880), Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900), Utagawa KUNIAKI II (1835-1888), Utagawa YOSHICHIKA (fl. 1850-60 in Osaka) and Utagawa KUNIHISA (1832-1891).

The album includes 27 multiple-sheet sets and 7 single-sheet prints, mostly dating from the early 1860s and therefore representing the last flowering of the 'ukiyo-e' woodblock print tradition. Published as sheet prints and bound together soon after publication by a Japanese collector, the prints have survived in superb condition. Almost without exception, they are fine impressions. They all show the brilliant colours typical of the period, when imported aniline dyes were being used to dramatic effect.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2005.