Ichikawa Ebizo IV as Takemura Sadanoshin
On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
The print designer known as Sharaku appears to have had a brief but sensational career, suddenly releasing a group of innovative and masterly actor portraits in 1794 and 1795 and then disappearing, leaving no biographical information. His most celebrated prints are half-length depictions of Kabuki actors playing well-known roles, against a backdrop of gray mica. This portrayal captures a dastardly character at a climactic moment in the play: the actor freezes in a dramatic pose and crosses his eyes to intensify his portrayal.
Color woodblock print with mica on paper
Gift of Frederic B. Pratt
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Toshusai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794-1795). Ichikawa Ebizo IV as Takemura Sadanoshin, 1794/5. Color woodblock print with mica on paper, 14 3/8 x 9 7/16 in. (36.5 x 24 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Frederic B. Pratt, 42.85 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.85_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
overall, 42.85_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Definitive Catalogue No.: Henderson and Ledoux. 16. Vignier-Inada. 264.
Condition: good. Trimmed at bottom and right. Blue (now green) retouched. Black in hair retouched, also mouth.
Remarks: From the play, "Koinyobo Somewake Tazuna," 1794.
From SHARAKU exhibition catalogue: "From the play "Koinyobo Somewaketazuna" at Kawarazaki-za theater in Edo. Takemura Sadanoshin is a Noh play actor in the play, who had to commit seppuku because of the disgrace by his daughter Shigenoi. Sharaku produced nine -O-ban prints about the play.
Toshusai Sharaku ga, the signature, and the seals of publisher Tsutaya at left.
Note: alternate name for this character is Takemura Sadanojo.
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