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Toshusai Sharaku (active circa 1794-95)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more Theories persist about the identity of the enigmatic master print artist Sharaku, who worked for only ten months between 1794 and 1795, in collaboration with the publisher Tsutaya Juzaburo. For reasons still unknown, but possibly to do with a difficult relationship with his publisher, he gave up designing prints after less than one year. 136 of Sharaku’s total oeuvre of 145 print designs take kabuki actors as their subject and his work is instantly recognisable by its psychological intensity and reductive approach. The two prints here are both on a dark grey mica ground, an exceptional feat of printing requiring a specialised studio and major financing.Property from a Japanese Collection
Toshusai Sharaku (active circa 1794-95)


Toshusai Sharaku (active circa 1794-95)
The actor Ichikawa Omezo I as the footman (Yakko) Ippei
A design from the play Koi Nyobo Somewake Tazuna, performed at the Kawarazaki theatre, 5th month Kansei 6 (1794), signed Toshusai Sharaku ga, published by Tsutaya Jusaburo
Oban tate-e (36.3 x 25.3 cm.)
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Anastasia von Seibold
Anastasia von Seibold

Lot Essay

Sharaku captures the moment that the loyal servant Ippei is about to confront the evil Edobei. Ippei is shown drawing his sword against Edobei, who is attempting to steal money that Ippei is carrying which had been entrusted by their lord to the groom Date no Yosaku.

For other impressions of this design in museum collections:

Tokyo National Museum, go to:

The British Museum, go to:

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, go to:

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