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Memorial Portrait of the Artist Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Kunichika Toyohara

Asian Art

In this print made immediately after Kunisada’s death, Kunichika depicted his teacher as a pensive scholar. Immediately above the portrait are poems by Kunichika and two of Kunisada’s other prominent students, Kunisada II and Kunihisa II, as well as a poem that Kunisada composed about his own impending death. The right sheet of this diptych contains an obituary for the artist, written by a well-known author of the period who describes Kunisada as a student of Toyokuni. With three generations present in the text, the portrait becomes a celebration of both the artist and the Utagawa lineage.
MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES December, 1864
    PERIOD Edo period
    DIMENSIONS 14 5/16 x 19 1/2 in. (36.4 x 49.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS 3 publisher's marks at lower right
    SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Monjin Ippitsusai Kunichika hitsu"
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 16.750.1
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Kunichika Toyohara (Japanese, 1835-1900). Memorial Portrait of the Artist Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), December, 1864. Woodblock print, 14 5/16 x 19 1/2 in. (36.4 x 49.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 16.750.1
    IMAGE overall, 16.750.1_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Two o-ban sheets, joined at center. In the left side of the diptych, Toyokuni II, in smoke green kimono with blue gown with butterfly-design, holds a brush and sits on a blue cushion in front of a low table with papers, water container, and ink stone. Additional painting tools on his left and a hand warner on his right. The text on the right side of the diptych introduces his biography. Condition:Some tears at bottom edge; two large tears at right near the artist's seal. Tainted at the left corner. All the edges worn and frayed slightly.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (76%)
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    Memorial Portrait of the Artist Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)