02 Kunisada Utagawa

This psychedelic reimagination enhances the extravagance and the visual spectacle of Kabuki theater captivated on Kunisada Utagawa's "Kokuzukushi Yamato Meiyo" (Honor of Japan in the Provinces Collected) No. 51. This piece portraits the Kabuki actor Nakamura Utaemon IV in the role of dying Heike general Tomomori. The left inset was done by Kunisada's pupil.

Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865), also known as Utagawa Toyokuni III, was the most popular, prolific and commercially successful designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. In his own time, his reputation far exceeded that of his contemporaries, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi.

Ukiyo-e is in simplified terms a synonym for Japanese prints. Ukiyo-e artists are appreciated by collectors all over the world. Many contemporary printmakers collect Japanese prints out of admiration of the technical skill and sophistication with which they were produced.

Details: GIF file, 1000x1394 px. 400 dpi.