This is an original color woodblock print by the famous Japanese Ukiyo-e artists Utagawa Hiroshige II (1829 – 1869) and Utagawa Toyokuni III / Kunisada I (1786 – 1865). I purchased a number of these about six years ago from Alexander Zacke (founder of Auctionata) and will be listing them over the next few weeks.
It comes from the series Kannon Reigenki / Miracles of Kannon and is plate number 27 of part one (for the Western provinces). It is titled Shoshasan in Enshu for the upper part that was designed by Hiroshige II. The lower part is titled Chuta Kozaburo and was designed by Kunisada I.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan.
CIRCA: 5th month 1859.
MATERIAL, MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUE: Color woodblock print on paper.
ARTISTS: Utagawa Hiroshige II (1829 – 1869) and Utagawa Toyokuni III / Kunisada I (1786 – 1865).
PLATE CARVER: Hori Take (Yokogawa Takejiro).
PROVENANCE: Alexander Zacke (Founder of Auctionata) from whom I purchased many items through the years.
MARKS: Signed: Hiroshige ga and Toyokuni ga.
CONDITION: Colors are very well preserved. Good printing impression. Rubbing, staining, creases and abrasions. Few holes at the left margin.
SIZE (Oban): Size of the sheet is 9.8 x 14.1 inches.
Utagawa Kunisada (1786—1865) became a pupil of Toyokuni at the age of 15, and would later assume his teachers name. Kunisada's pictures reflect the culture of Japan in the years leading up to the country's opening to the West. His first book illustrations were published in 1807, his first actor portrait the following year alongside with theatrical scenes and portraits of courtesans. In his numerous bijin-ga he clung to the ideal of beauty prevalent at the time. From 1830 he continued the development of the Utagawa School and from 1844 onwards signed his works Toyokuni III.
Hiroshige II (1829 – 1869) was born with the name Chinpei Suzuki. Due to the Japanese tradition his master Ando Hiroshige I gave him the artist's name Shigenobu. After the death of Ando Hiroshige I in 1858 Shigenobu took the name of his teacher and called himself Utagawa Hiroshige II.
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