Katsukawa Shun'ei / The actor Ichikawa Komazo III as Sukeroku / 1793 or 1797 (?)Katsukawa Shun'ei
The actor Ichikawa Komazo III as Sukeroku
1793 or 1797 (?)

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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shun'ei
Creator Qualifier: Attributed to
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1762-1819 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shun'ei
Title: The actor Ichikawa Komazo III as Sukeroku
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1793
Creation End Date: 1797
Creation Date: 1793 or 1797 (?)
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Hosoban, part of a multisheet composition; 35.6 x 15.6 cm
Inscriptions: UNSIGNED [printed "Shunsho ga" added]
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1937.27
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Rights: http://www.artic.edu/aic/rights/main.rights.html
Context: Sukeroku is here played by Ichikawa Komazo III, who poses beneath a flowering cherry tree - probably in the main street (Naka no Cho) of the Yoshiwara pleasure district - holding a furled umbrella. This is probably the left-hand sheet of a triptych, whose other two sheets would show the courtesan Agemaki and Sukeroku's villainous rival, Ikyu?.Komazo III played the role of Sukeroku twice: Yorozuya Sukeroku (a reworking of the familiar tale in historical disguises by the playwright Sukurada Jisuke) at the Ichimura Theater in the third month of 1793, and Agemaki no Sukeroku (in a more standard version of the story) at the Kawarazaki Theater in the third month of 1797. Since the costume would have been the same in both productions, we can only know which performance this print relates to by discovering which actors were portrayed on the two missing sheets of the triptych.The print bears the printed signature 'Shunsho ga,' but Shunsho had died on the eighth day of the twelfth month, 1792. Either the signaturewas added later to the impression, or - assuming the print was published in the third month of 1793 - the publisher was deliberately capitalizing on the name of the recently deceased and highly esteemed artist. In any case, the elongated, elegant manner of drawing the figure and the particular style of drawing the face is typical of Shun'ei, to whom the print is attributed. An advance publicity handbill (tsuji banzuke) shows Komazo III as Sukeroku in the production of 1797 (see 'The Actor's Image' catalogue, fig. 130.1, p.347), holding aloft the open umbrella.The colors of the print are unusually strong and unfaded.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1937.27
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998

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