Posted by Guy Pepermans (18.104.22.168) on February 17, 2012 at 12:57:34:
In Reply to: Re: author of fan painting posted by Anders R on February 16, 2012 at 08:35:08:
Nakamura Utaemon IV (Shikan) acted in Osaka during late 1834 till 1838 and was depicted there by Hokuei, Shigeharu and others but I still tend to attribute the fans to the period 1850-52, during his final stay in Osaka, also the last phase in the actor’s life.
As supporting evidence I add the images of two bust portraits prints by Hirosada from the Ikeda Bunko:
- at the right: Utaemon as the courtesan Hatsuyuki (1/1850, Naka, play: Mitsu no haru suzume no Tawamure);
- left: Utaemon as Oboshi Yuranosuke (4/1851, Naka, play: Kanadhon Chushingura).
Note certain similarities in the rendition of the faces of the typical Hirosada ‘obuki-e’ and the painted fans. It is impossible to state if the fans were painted by Hirosada but the style matches the characteristics of Osaka prints from the period that Hirosada was establishing a nearly complete monopoly on actor prints, late 1840s-1850s. Maybe, the fans were executed by a professional but unknown painter, specialised in actor’s images - of course working in a style that was conform to the requirements set out by the designers and publishers of woodblock prints .
BTW: the onnagata on the fan could be the courtesan ‘Yugiri’ in the play ‘Kurawa Buncho’ but I was unable to retrace a performance in Osaka with Utaemon IV in this role.
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