Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967
Kabuki Actor Cartoon
(Narikomaya no mudagaki)
title in right margin, signed in sumi kanji, Bin-ni, with red artist's seal Binnie, pencil-numbered and -signed in the lower right, 18/35, Paul Binnie, ca. 2008
chuban 10 7/8 by 9 3/8 in., 27.7 by 23.9 cm
The title and style of the composition is based on the 1847 series of kabuki actor cartoons by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) Nitakaragurakabe no mudagaki (Scribblings on a storehouse wall). The Kuniyoshi series presented similarly stylized portraits, often with elongated chins and noses, swollen cheeks, and oddly shaped heads. Binnie captures the playfulness of the preceding series, but with elements of his own invention. The colors of this composition are bold and definitive. Similarly, by presenting the actor in profile Binnie provides her with a kind of gravitas, creatively contrasting with the print's comic style.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (mfa.org), from the Bigelow Collection, accession no. 11.27004
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
February 24, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...