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The Actors Ichikawa Danjuro VIII and Segawa Kikunojo V

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

Although Hiroshige was best known for his landscapes, he also designed some kabuki subjects, including this privately published surimono print. Surimono were created for the members of poetry clubs, who exchanged them with other clubs. Because they were printed in small runs and for a private sponsor, these prints were often made from very finely carved blocks, employing deluxe techniques such as embossing and materials such as metallic pigments. Two verses from the poetry club are included in the upper left corner of this composition.
MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES ca. 1835
    PERIOD Edo Period
    DIMENSIONS 8 8/16 x 7 3/8 in. (21.6 x 18.7 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signature: lower right, Hiroshige ga
    INSCRIPTIONS Poetry to be read.
    CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Surimono (privately published print featuring poetry). Standing Kabuki actors in front of a plum tree; male actor in reddish kimono with floral design and black tabi socks holds a black umbrella; the other next to him in black outfit with geometric design probably plays a courtesan. Two poems on the upper left. Condition: Colors in good state. All edges worn and frayed slightly. Paper has yellowed.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). The Actors Ichikawa Danjuro VIII and Segawa Kikunojo V, ca. 1835. Woodblock print, 8 8/16 x 7 3/8 in. (21.6 x 18.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X1051.7 (Photo: , X1051.7_SL1.JPG)
    IMAGE X1051.7_SL1.JPG.
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