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Collection

An image of Two men and one woman on stage by Utagawa KUNIAKI II

Utagawa KUNIAKI II

(Japan 1835 – 1888)

Title
Two men and one woman on stage, from an album of 'ukiyo-e' woodblock prints of 'kabuki' actors
Place of origin
Japan
Period
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
Year
1862
Media categories
Print, Book
Materials used
colour woodcut; 'oban' diptych
Dimensions

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

Signature & date
(right sheet) signed "Kuniaki ga", Yokogawa Takejiro or Chikujiro block carver's seal, Daikokuya Heikichi publisher's seal; (centre sheet) signed "Kuniaki ga", Daikokuya Heikichi publisher's seal; (left sheet) signed "Kuniaki ga", Yokogawa Takejiro or Chikujiro block carver's seal, Daikokuya Heikichi publisher's seal.
Credit
James and Robin Patricia Giffen Bequest 2005
Accession number
280.2005.8
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.