Toyokuni II: Majestic courtesanToyokuni II: Majestic courtesan
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Utagawa Toyokuni II (Toyoshige) 1777-1835)

A seated high-ranking courtesan (Oiran or Tayû). Her hair is gorgeously styled, and her luxurious winter kimono is decorated with snow on pines. In her hands she is holding a long ornate pipe.

The elaborate cartouche in the shape of a lacquered sake bowl contains the bust portrait of an kabuki onnagata (female impersonator), a plum blossom branch behind.

Series: Imayô bijin awase – Shinsei sugatami shuhai (o. sakazuki) (Modern beauties compared – A new mirror in sake bowls)

Signature: Toyokuni ga

Publisher: Imariya Ushizô (Bunhôdô), Edo

Date: C. 1823/24

Size: Vertical Oban, 37,8 x 26,2 cm

Excellent impression and colours, with some silvery mica speckles. Only minor flaws (two tiny restored wormholes, minimal soiling and stains). Overall excellent condition. A very attractive image.

This print belongs to an exceedingly rare series which is occasionally also attributed to Toyokuni I. Marks, Publishers, P 1744.