Actors Bando Mitsugoro III and Iwai Hanshiro III

Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I 歌川豊国 (1769-1825)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1804-1806
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 37.2 x 26 cm (14 5/8 x 10 1/4 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

actor, Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Toyokuni, an outstanding designer of actor prints, portrays two leading actors together in this print. The actors' names are provided, but their roles are not specified. Iwai Hanshiro V (1776-1847) plays a woman pilgrim, while Bando Mitsugoro III (1773-1831) plays a samurai. Toyokuni has captured a moment in which the actors turn their heads to face the audience. The artist effectively contrasts the acting styles for male and female roles through detailed descriptions of gesture and pose, as well as through stylistic contrasts such as the flowing lines in the woman's costume and the sharp, angular lines of the samurai's robe. In a later period of enmity, from 1813 to 1817, the actors refused to appear together onstage.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 29, pp. 110-111.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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