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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