Scene from the love story of Osome and Hisamatsu, from an album of 'ukiyo-e' woodblock prints of 'kabuki' actors
Utagawa KUNIAKI II
1835 - 1888
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.
Scene from the love story of Osome and Hisamatsu. A snowy evening scene during plum blossom season, the 2 left-hand sheets showing Osome as a puppet, operated by a veiled puppeteer, and two ruffians. The right-hand sheet shows the hero, Hisamatsu, who has been locked in a 'kura' storehouse.
Place where the work was made
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper, 2 sheets from a triptych, 3rd sheet from different set?
36.0 x 49.0 cm image of 2 sheets from oban triptych; 36.0 x 24.0 cm 3rd sheet; 36.0 x 24.0 x 1.5 overall book
Signature & date
(right sheet) signed "Kuniaki ga"; (centre sheet) "Kuniaki ga"; Joshuya Juzo/Jukichi's publisher's seal; (left sheet) signed "Kuniaki ga", Joshuya Juzo/Jukichi's publisher's seal.
James and Robin Patricia Giffen Bequest 2005
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019