Ippitsusai Buncho / The actors Sawamura Sojuro II and Ichimura Kichigoro in unidentified roles / c. 1768/70Ippitsusai Buncho
The actors Sawamura Sojuro II and Ichimura Kichigoro in unidentified roles
c. 1768/70

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Creator Name: Ippitsusai Buncho
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; fl. c.1755-1790 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Ippitsusai Buncho
Title: The actors Sawamura Sojuro II and Ichimura Kichigoro in unidentified roles
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1768
Creation End Date: 1770
Creation Date: c. 1768/70
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Hosoban; 30.9 x 14.7 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Ippitsusai Buncho gaARTIST'S SEAL: Mori uji
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1925.2529
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Rights: http://www.artic.edu/aic/rights/main.rights.html
Context: Ichimura Kichigoro, dressed in a blue long-?sleeved kimono under a pink kamishimo (formal dress of a male aristocrat, comprising wide-?shouldered surcoat and wide-?legged, extra?long trousers), kneels with a writing set in front of him, holding a large writing brush primed with ink. He is watched by Sawamura Sojuro II, who stands behind him leaning on his long sword. On the free-?standing single-?panel screen (tsuitate) is the character dai ('big') above a landscape of a red plum tree in blossom beside ameandering stream. Sojuro II is wearing a striped kimono with a pattern of plum blossoms (ume), and it is tempting to identify him as Umeo-?maru in the play Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Sugawara's Secrets of Calligraphy). In the eighth month of 1768, at the Ichimura Theater, Kichigoro played Prince Tokiyo in a 'Sugawara' play, but in that production Sojuro II played not Umeo-maru but Matsuo-?maru,Umeo-?maru's elder brother, whose costume would have been decorated with pines (matsu). Identification of the present print will have to await further study of Kabuki records.Buncho's composition is most elegant, the inward arch of the standing figure counterbalanced by the outward curve of the kneeling figure's long sleeve. The expressions are typically enigmatic; the two young men may be glancing conspirato?rially around to be sure the calligraphy is being written unobserved.Though the purple and red pigments are strong and unfaded, the indigo blue of Kichigoro's kimono and of the background has modified to a light sand color. Since the character kichi appears as a crest on Kichigoro's sleeve, the print must date before the eleventh month of 1770, when he succeeded to the name Bando Hikosaburo III.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1925.2529
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998

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