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Gayûken Shunsei (画遊軒春勢)

Description:
Onoe Tamizô II as Umesuzume no Otomatsu; unidentified play from a chû-shibai (middle theater) production
Signature:
Shunsei ga (春清画)
Seals:
Kiyoshi
Publisher:
Tôshin
Date:
Circa mid 1820s
Format:
(H x W)
Oban
37.0 x 25.7 cm
Impression:
Very good
Condition:
Very good color and overall condition (unbacked; a few light creases near middle left edge; slightly trimmed along top; a few small repaired wormholes; glue residue along right edge on verso)
Price (USD/¥):
$485 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry (SNS01)

Comments:
Background

Onoe Tamizô II (1799-1886; 尾上多見蔵), the son of a theater hairdresser, was a skillful dancer and versatile actor. He had a long, successful career and a devoted following in the middle theaters in Osaka from the 1920s (by 1833, he also performed in the larger theaters, such as the Kado and Naka). Tamizô studied with Onoe Kikugorô III in Edo for three years, then returned to Osaka in 1823. He tended to be a flamboyant showman and was short, overweight, and reputedly illiterate. (His weight problem is evident in portraits issued later in his career.) Nevertheless, there was a coterie of artists, led by Gatôken (Toryûken) Shunshi, who were devoted to depicting Tamizô. Their drawing styles were similar, at times indistinguishable from one another. Two of these printmakers signed with the name "Shunsei," but used different second characters. Compare our Shunsei (春清) with the more familiar though still rarely encountered Shunsei (春勢), both active briefly during the mid 1820s.

Design

Tamizô stands by a collapsible paper chôchin (lantern: 提灯) hanging to his left. He holds a tenugui (cotton towel: 手ぬぐい) across the back of his neck. His capacious purple robe is patterned with a nautical rope.

The long inscription provides the lyrics/words to a song.