Ichikawa Ebizo IV as Takemura Sadanoshin
The mysterious artist Tōshūsai Sharaku specialized in actor depictions in his apparently brief career as a print designer. His most groundbreaking and celebrated images focus on the face and upper body of the subject, set against a plain background covered in mica dust. Sharaku’s works emphasize the actor’s mastery of facial expressions, posture, and hand gestures to convey complex emotions. Here, one of the great performers of the day portrays a tragic hero at the moment when he realizes that his only honorable recourse is to commit ritual suicide.
Color woodblock print with mica on paper
This item is not on view
Gift of Frederic B. Pratt
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Toshusai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794-1795). Ichikawa Ebizo IV as Takemura Sadanoshin, 1794/5. Color woodblock print with mica on paper, 14 3/8 x 9 7/16 in. (36.5 x 24 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Frederic B. Pratt, 42.85 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.85_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
overall, 42.85_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Definitive Catalogue No.: Henderson and Ledoux. 16. Vignier-Inada. 264.
Condition: good. Trimmed at bottom and right. Blue (now green) retouched. Black in hair retouched, also mouth.
Remarks: From the play, "Koinyobo Somewake Tazuna," 1794.
From SHARAKU exhibition catalogue: "From the play "Koinyobo Somewaketazuna" at Kawarazaki-za theater in Edo. Takemura Sadanoshin is a Noh play actor in the play, who had to commit seppuku because of the disgrace by his daughter Shigenoi. Sharaku produced nine -O-ban prints about the play.
Toshusai Sharaku ga, the signature, and the seals of publisher Tsutaya at left.
Note: alternate name for this character is Takemura Sadanojo.
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