Measuring 5″x7.25″, this richly printed shunga has a lot going on. “Silver” inks (lead) and embossing, coupled with exquisite fine lines and detailing. Identified by an expert as being by Kunisada and part of a series of 12 that made use of rich blues and a landscape image in the upper corner. Published in the 1850s.
In very fine to excellent condition.
About the Artist
Utagawa Kunisada I (1786 – 1865) was a prolific, successful and at his time highly appreciated leading designer of ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints. Born near Edo as the son of an affluent merchant with a ferry boat license, at the age of 15 Kunisada joined the famous art school of Utagawa Toyokuni and took the artist name Kunisada.
In 1807 Utagawa Kunisada produced his first illustrated book and in 1808 his first actor prints were published. While other artists like Kuniyoshi Utagawa or Hiroshige had to fight for recognition for years, he was successful from the beginning and would become the most commercially successful of all woodblock printmakers ever. Kunisada designed a wide spectrum of traditional ukiyo-e subjects like kabuki themes, beautiful women, historical events and quite a few shunga prints.