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HIRONOBU I, Kinoshita
(active 1851 - 1870)
The actors Jitsukawa Ensaburô and Arashi Kichisaburô
in the play: 'Keisei Kuruwa Daimon'

Signed:                         Hironobu
Date/censor seals:        aratame; 1862
Size:                              chûban diptych (c. 37 x 25 cms / c. 14 1/2" x 9 7/8")

EXCELLENT impression, color and condition. - DELUXE printing
with areas of black lacquer and metallic color pigments. The two
sheets of the diptych come with their original album backing (pasted
together). - Having formerly been bound in an album is the reason
why this diptych is in such great, MINT condition, and the colors
as fresh as printed only recently!

ref. no.:  # 763236
Price:     € 850.00
Very likely HIRONOBU was a pupil of Hirosada (active 1826(?)-1863). His works are rare, - he had designed fewer prints than his contemporary Yoshitaki. Hironobu's works include comic subjects as well as actor portraits.
The diptych depicts a kabuki scene from the play, "Keisei kuruwa daimon". Imagawa Ooko-no-suke (left, played by Jitsukawa Ensaburô, 1813-1867) is holding a scroll letter, while Ise no Shinkuro (right, played by Arashi Kichisaburô, 1810-1864) with a katakana sword is looking on. - Both actors are seen in a triptych by YOSHITAKI, shown in this gallery section, as well.

The Osaka - Kobe - Kyoro area was called "Kamigata" in the Edo period. The Ukiyo-e artists in Kamigata developed a unique style of their own, especially in thr yakusha-e (actor prints) genre. The production numbers of these prints were much smaller and the quality of printing generally much more refined than those of kabuki prints produced in Edo.

Reference literature:
R. Keyes / Keiko Mizushima, "The Theatrical World of Osaka prints", Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1973; Cat. nos. # 26-31 list works by the artist.

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