Portrayals of actors in private life are a relative rarity in Edo printmaking, but even more so in Osaka. Yoshikuni's and Ashiyuki's diptych provides an uncommon glimpse into the off-stage activities of Osaka's pop-culture icons. Each of the red cartouches includes a phrase after the actor names informing us about the scene: somen nôryô no zu (lit., picture of uncovered faces enjoying the cool of the evening: 素面納涼之圖). "Uncovered faces" is a metaphor for actors without their makeup.
This composition is a gassaku (collective or shared work: 合作) by two of the leading artists of the period.
Shikan II and Riikan II are dressed in summer robes patterned with their mon (crests: 紋). Shikan holds an uchiwa (rigid fan: 團扇 or 団扇) painted with bamboo, Rikan an ôgi (folding fan: 扇) bearing his tachibana (mandarin orange blossom crest: 橘). Each wears geta (clogs: 下駄). A table with picnic wares, including a teapot over a small charcoal stove, can be seen on the right sheet. Note that the coloration of the birds echoes the respective hues in the kimono for each actor.
References: WB, no. V1