Okehazama Narumi Gundan

Method Woodblock (nishiki-e)
Artist Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (1786-1865)
Published 1884
Dimensions Ôban tate-e triptych [Each sheet ~15.6 x 10.7 inches]
Notes Signed: Kunimasa Baido
Publisher: Okura Shirobei
Carver: Hori Tatsu

A triptych depicting a scene from the kabuki play Okehazama Narumi Gundan. The daimyo, feudal lord, Imagawa Yoshimoto is seen at the foot of Mount Fuji with four of his samurai. In the left panel Yamamoto Kansuke and Kinoshita Tokichiro, and on the right Matsushita Kaheiji and Yamagata Saburobei. The scene is depicting the Suruga-Sagami Conflict in 1554. The five warriors are played, from left to right, by the actors Kataoka Gado, Ichikawa Danjuro, Nakamura Shikan, Ichikawa Kuzo and Ichikawa Sumizo.

Kunisada (also known as Toyokuni III) was the most popular, prolific and financially successful designer of ukiyo-e woodblock print in 19th-century Japan. In his own time, his reputation far exceeded that of his contemporaries, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi. The artist started his career as a pupil of Toyokuni I whose name he adopted in 1844 as Toyokuni III. He originally signed his prints 'Kunimasa' or 'Baido Kunimasa'. About 1889, he began signing his prints 'Kunisada', 'Baido Kunisada' or 'Kochoro Kunisada'. Almost from the first day of his activity, to the time of his death in 1865, Kunisada was a trendsetter in the art of the Japanese woodblock print. Always at the vanguard of his time, and in tune with the tastes of the public, he continuously developed his style, which was sometimes radically changed, and did not adhere to stylistic constraints set by any of his contemporaries. He was not only a brilliant print maker but also an excellent business man who had great commercial success. Following the traditional pattern of the Utagawa school, Kunisada's main occupation was kabuki and actor prints, and about sixty percent all of his designs fall in this category. Notable students of his include Toyohara Kunichika, Utagawa Sadahide and Utagawa Kunisada II.

Condition: Some patches of toning.
Framing mounted
Price £375.00
Stock ID 51277