The Actor Ichikawa Ebizo as Kudo Suketsune

Maker(s)
Artist: Katsukawa Shun'ei 勝川春英 (1762-1819)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1793
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 33.7 x 14.8 cm (13 1/4 x 5 13/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.60
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
actor, Anne van Biema collection, bow, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hosoban, Japan, kabuki, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance, yakusha-e
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The actor Ichikawa Ebizo (1741-1806) is portrayed as Kudo Suketsune, the villain of the many kabuki plays that relate the story of the Soga brothers' vendetta against their uncle, Kudo, who was responsible for the death of their father. Here the warrior wears a costume richly ornamented with large lobsters (ebi), which allude to the actor's name, Ebizo. He strikes a powerful pose that is made more emphatic by the tall bow in his hands. This print by Shun'ei captures faithfully the individual features of the actor who later became Ichikawa Danjuro V. An unusual feature of the background of the stage set is the grove of bamboo that is rendered in brushstrokes reminiscent of an ink painting. The beauty of color printing can be appreciated in this print, in which the delicate colors are well preserved.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 21, pp. 94-95.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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