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Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Current Patterns of the Underworld: Actor Nakamura Fukusuke I as Yamaneko Sanji
(Jidai moyo ataru shiranami: Nakamura Fukusuke, Yamaneko Sanji)

signed Toyokuni ga within artist's Toshidama cartouche, with publisher's seal Uo-ya (Sakanaya Eikichi), block cutter's seal, Yokokawa Hori Take, and censor's seal Aratame hitsuji-roku (examined, year of the goat [1859], 6th month)

oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 in., 37.3 by 25.5 cm

This rare series presenting actors in roles of villains appears to be a stylistic precursor to Kunisada's series, Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni, which began to be issued only two years later, from circa 1861-64. As there are scant examples extant or published from this series, it is unknown how many designs were actually issued. The series title has been amusingly translated elsewhere as 'Thieves are a Sign of the Times.'

Andreas Marks, Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium, 2011, p. 277 (for series)

price: $ 750


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site last updated
March 27, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
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New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475