Kunisada: Enjoying the evening coolKunisada: Enjoying the evening cool
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Kunisada: Enjoying the evening coolKunisada: Enjoying the evening cool
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Kunisada: Enjoying the evening coolKunisada: Enjoying the evening cool
Move your mouse over image or click to enlarge

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (1786-1865)

Three famous actors enjoying the evening cool on the Sumida river on a hot summer evening. Behind them a tipsy company on yet another pleasure boat. Swallows are flying under the mighty pillars of the Azuma bridge in the foreground.

Title: Azumabashi yûsuzumi no zu (吾妻橋夕涼之図 – Enjoying the evening cool at Azuma bridge)

Signature: Toyokuni ga

Block cutter: Hori Shôji (Tsuge Shôjirô)

Publisher: Tsujiya Yasubei (Tsujiyasu, Kinkaidô), Edo

Censors: Hama and Magome

Date: 1853, 5th month

Size: Oban triptych, c. 37,5 x 76,6 cm (overall)

Excellent impression and colours. Three separate, untrimmed and unbacked sheets. Few minor stains and smudges (partly caused by printing), else excellent condition.

A rare, very impressive composition by the artist. Particularly noteworthy the large-scale depiction of the persons, the elaborate design of their light summer kimonos, and the very powerful design of the wooden bridge construction.
The actors are: the onnagata (female impersonators) Bandô Shûka I (right) and Iwai Kumesaburô III (left); in the middle sits Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII.

Cf. Digital Collection of the Japan Arts Council, No. 15114 (0073594-000-001/002); Tokyo Metropolitan Library 0462-C5/東C0462-C005; Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, No. 006-2578/2579/2580 (identification of the persons)

€ 1.980,-