Mmm, I think we should take another look ...

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Posted by Theo de Kreijger on November 17, 2002 at 08:09:16:

In Reply to: Re: Hiroshige or Kunisada I posted by David on November 17, 2002 at 06:20:17:

Dear all,

I think that we should take another good look at both prints before we jumped to conclusions. This because I think we are tricked by the fact that Guy's print didn't fit on his scanner. I brought the pieces back together again and placed it next to the Waseda one. Go take a look at both prints.

1. I think that's clear that these are prints from the same blocks. Except for the different colors and the signatures, there are no differences in lines and dots.

2. Look at the spot were the signature and seal should have been on Guy's print. I think he will be able to tell us that this spot has been restored. This means that the signature was been teared out by accident or perhaps even on purpose. (Hiroshiges tend to sell better then Kunisada's, don't they?)

3. This design appears to be a collaboration between Kunisada (actors) and Hiroshige (landscape background), like they did many times. So the original blocks should have carried both names like in Guy's print.

4. But what about the missing Hiroshige signature on the Waseda print? Obviously it has NOT been removed from the print itself. I think that this print is a later edition with the signature damaged and/or removed.

5. Although Guy's print has been faded (the orange dress of the boy should have been red) and the colors used are more subdued, this doesn't mean that it has been printed later then the one from the Waseda University. The keyblock with the text en the outlines has been printed in a greyish black, followed by the deeper black overprinting on the robe. This is typical for more carefully printed early editions. The one from the waseda University is just printed with blacks, without any difference. Also the change in colors of the knots on both obi's seems a bit harsh to me, compared with Guy's print. The fact the Waseda print looks crisp and bold could also mean that the printing of this later edition was performed by a skilled printer who got the most out of the "old" blocks.

Perhaps John Fiorillo could shed some light on this too?

Considering the name of the child-actor I do agree that it reads like "Iawai Shishimatsu". But still no reference to him ...


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