Scottish, b. 1967
A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo: Sharaku's Caricatures
(Edo zumi hyaku shoku: Edo zumi hyaku shoku: Sharaku no Giga)
the background printed with bold sumi ink bokashi of baren swirls, a view of a seated male nude from behind, the tattoo based on a Sharaku okubi-e of the kabuki actor Otani Oniji holding his hands outward with the fingers spread open; the series title cartouche in the upper right margin, the print title to the left with the first portion, Sharaku no, in the style of Sharaku's signature followed by a detail from a Sharaku okubi-e, signed in gold kanji, Bin-ni, with artist's seal in the form of a self-caricature made up of the letters in his name, numbered and signed in pencil on the bottom margin, 33/100 Paul Binnie, 2011
dai oban tate-e 17 by 12 1/4 in., 43.2 by 31.1 cm
The back tattoo is derived from Toshusai Sharaku's (active 1794-95) portrait of the kabuki actor Otani Oniji III (Nakamura Nakazo II, 1759-1796) in the role of the Yakko ("manservant") Edobei from the play The Colored Reins of a Loving Wife (Koi nyobo somewake tazuna) published in the 6th lunar month of 1794. Yakko were henchmen to the samurai who could be relied upon to carry out their bidding, including violent and nefarious deeds. Otani Onijis scowling expression and his body language as he leans forward menacingly with his hands greedily outstretched embodies the wickedness of the role of Edobei. The gesture of his wide-spread fingers is mimicked by the gesture of Binnie's nude model who holds his open hands near his head as if he has been startled.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, www.metmuseum.org, no. JP2822
(inv. no. C-1978)
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
January 21, 2022
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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