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Ichikawa Ebizo IV as Takemura Sadanoshin

Toshusai Sharaku

Asian Art

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.
MEDIUM Color woodblock print with mica on paper
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 1794/5
    PERIOD Edo period
    DIMENSIONS 14 3/8 x 9 7/16 in. (36.5 x 24 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Toshusai Sharaku
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Frederic B. Pratt
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION 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)
    IMAGE overall, 42.85_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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. Paper: Japan 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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