Actor Jitsukawa Enjaku II

Maker(s)
Artist: Natori Shunsen ๅๅ–ๆ˜ฅไป™ (1886-1960)
Historical period(s)
Taisho or Showa era, 1925-1929
Medium
Ink and color on silk with applied paper labels
Dimensions
H x W (image): 39.9 x 30.6 cm (15 11/16 x 12 1/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase from the Estate of Robert O. Muller with funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Harold P. Stern Memorial Fund
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F2004.14
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
actor, Japan, kakemono, portrait, Showa era (1926 - 1989), Taisho era (1912 - 1926), theater, WWII-era provenance, yakusha-e
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

In the seventeenth century, actors in the Japanese kabuki theater became popular heroes, and their portraits were widely produced in woodblock prints. Like many of these actor portraits, this painting of Jitsukawa Enjaku ii conveys a dual identity: the actor as idol and as a character he created in performance. Decorated donation envelopes-customarily given by fans to their favorite actors-are pasted around the mounting, an unusual feature that underscores Jitsukawa's fame. The portrait follows the successful formula of a head-and-shoulder bust depicting an actor in full makeup and costume, a popular motif in Japanese art from the 1790s onward. Artist Natori Shunsen specialized in the distinctive, bold style that he used in this painting.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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