The actor Ichikawa Danjuro V in a 'Shibaraku' role, probably as Kato Hyoeisa Shigemitsu, in the third scene of the play Masakado Kammuri no Hatsuyuki (The First Snow on Taira no Masakado's Court Headdress)
Performed at the Nakamura Theater in the eleventh month,1777. (the so-called Red Danjuro)
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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shunsho
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1726-1792 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shunsho
Title: The actor Ichikawa Danjuro V in a 'Shibaraku' role, probably as Kato Hyoeisa Shigemitsu, in the third scene of the play Masakado Kammuri no Hatsuyuki (The First Snow on Taira no Masakado's Court Headdress)
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1777
Creation End Date: 1777
Creation Date: Performed at the Nakamura Theater in the eleventh month,1777. (the so-called Red Danjuro)
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Hosoban; 29.0 x 13.4 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Shunsho ga
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1938.487
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Context: All but submerged in the voluminous sleeves of his persimmon red 'Shibaraku' (Stop right there!) costume, Danjuro V crouches like some fantastic predator about to strike.l Shunsho must have drawn actors in this famous role every year of his working life,but for this celebrated design he chose a deliberately unconventional viewpoint - Danjuro motionless at the start of the hanamichi walkway, silhouetted before the divided curtain bearing the large gingko-leaf crest of the Nakamura Theater. The octagonal border of the crest on the curtain serves to echo and amplify Danjuro's hunched silhouette, reflecting an inspired, even playful, sense of design.This print seems to belong to a set of three showing leading actors in opening-of-the-season (kaomise) productions of the years 1777 and 1778, each standing before a curtain bearing the crest of one of the three Kabuki theaters of Edo. The second print of this putative series shows Ichimura Uzaemon IX in a formidable frontal pose, in a 'Shibaraku' role at the Ichimura Theater in 1778 (see 'The Actor's Image' catalogue, fig. 84.1, p.243); the third shows Ichikawa Danzo IV as Mashiba Tokichiro, in formal kamishimo (surcoat and long trousers) and holding a mirror, at the Morita Theater in 1777 (see 'The Actor's Image' catalogue, fig. 84.2, p.243). The complementary poses of the figures even suggest that the three prints might be viewable as a triptych, with Danjuro V on the left, Uzaemon IX in the center, and Danzo IV on the right. It was typical of Shunsho's ever inventive approach to print making that he produced such compositionally striking designs, designs which managed, moreover, to glorify the actors and advertise the theaters at one and the same time.Danjuro V played the 'Shibaraku' role in kaomise productions in both 1777 and 1779. It has been suggested that the form of Shunsho's signature makes the earlier date more likely for this print, and this would seem to be confirmed by the dating of the other two designs in the set. An illustrated program (ehon banzuke) for the 1777 performance shows Danjuro V in a similar hunched pose, though not in strict profile (see'The Actor's Image' catalogue, fig. 84.3, p.243).The Chicago impression has been trimmed, particularly at the top, where the stitched loops of the curtain are no longer visible. The blue of the curtain has faded to pale buff.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1938.487
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998
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