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    Sale 7432

    Japanese Prints, including The B.W. Robinson Collection

    7 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 617

    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)
    Nidaruma no ichiku, a striking okubi-e [bust-portrait] of the kabuki actor Nakamura Utaemon IV (1798 - 1852) as Daruma drawn with broad sweeping brush strokes as though painted on a scroll, signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi fude [painted], published by Ibaya Sensaburo, censors' seals Mera and Murata
    Oban tate-e


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    Although at first glance a depiction of Daruma, this print is another product of the Tempo reforms, when depictions of actors were forbidden. The rules were however being blatantly flouted as this print actually alludes to a performance by Nakamura Utaemon IV (here disguised as Daruma) in 1848 of the play Takagi Oriemon budojitsuroku.
    This print is done to imitate a hanging scroll [kakemono] and Robert Schaap notes that it may have been a cheap alternative for one.1

    1. Robert Schaap, Heroes and Ghosts (Amsterdam, 1998), p.161

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    Literature

    Robert Schaap, Heroes and Ghosts (Amsterdam, 1998), no.172