Half-length portrait of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro V as Kazusa no Gorobei Tadamitsu in act three of the play Kitekaeru Nishiki no Wakayaka (Returning Home in Splendor)
Performed at the Nakamura Theater from the first day of the eleventh month, 1780
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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shunko
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1743-1812 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shunko
Title: Half-length portrait of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro V as Kazusa no Gorobei Tadamitsu in act three of the play Kitekaeru Nishiki no Wakayaka (Returning Home in Splendor)
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1780
Creation End Date: 1780
Creation Date: Performed at the Nakamura Theater from the first day of the eleventh month, 1780
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Aiban; 32.2 x 22.5 cm (untrimmed)
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE Shunko-ga
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1925.2369
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Context: In this print Ichikawa Danjuro V appears alone in the role of Kazusa no Gorobei Tadamitsu, but his open 'snake's eye' umbrella suggests the nighttime 'silent encounter' scene (dammari) at the entrance to the Mishima Myojin Shrine. In that scene, as the illustrated program (ehon banzuke) shows, Danjuro V struggles for possession of a sacred bow with Nakamura Nakazo I, playing Chinzei Hachiro Tametomo disguised as a pilgrim see 'The Actor's Image', fig. 112.1, p.309). A chu?ban print by Shushno also depicts the two men together. In his diary, Shu?kaku Niki, Nakazo I described Danjuro V's costume: a long haori jacket, red sujiguma makeup, an umbrella, and a lantern. This was adapted from the costume of the old keeper of the Aridoshi Shrine, a character whose canonical dress and accoutrements were established in classical literature and paintings.Shunko's half-length portrait shows Danjuro V in a grand dramatic pose (mie): staring out from under his umbrella, chin on fist and eyes crossed in the traditional expression of intense resolution. His purple kimono is decorated with wave roundels and bears the square 'triple-rice-measure' (mimasu) crest of the Ichikawa family on the sleeve. The wig is arranged in bristling wings that continue the red 'strength' lines of the sujiguma makeup, so that the hero, though motionless, fairly pulses with energy.Although designed in the aiban format - slightly smaller than the oban that would later be the norm - this print marks the inception of the half-length and bust portraits of actors that are counted among the glories of ukiyo-e in the 1790s and throughout the nineteenth century. It appeared during the same time that Shunsho was issuing his series of half-length portraits in fan-shaped borders and at least one print instandard rectangular format, showing Danjuro V as Kudo Suketsune in kamishimo dress and holding a sword hilt, which is thought to date from the first month of 1780. Surprisingly, Shunsho designed no more such portraits, and it would be another eight years before Shunko began to design half-length portraits with considerable frequency.This print depicts Onoe Matsusuke I as Retired Emperor Sutoku in the same production, are the only impressions of these designs known, and it is marvelous that they should be in such fine, unfaded condition. Most likely Shunko also designed a half-length portrait of Nakazo I as Tametomo; one hopes that an impression still exists, awaiting rediscovery.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1925.2369
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998
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