Re: kunitsuna? I or II?

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Posted by Alec W. ( on February 25, 2021 at 01:57:45:

In Reply to: kunitsuna? I or II? posted by Judy Hahn on February 24, 2021 at 22:49:51:

I'll second Lucienne's comments, but I feel obligated to note that the literature on Kunitsuna I vs II is actually a bit murky.

The conventional wisdom, following "Genshoku ukiyoe daihyakka jiten", seems to be that Kunitsuna II was only active starting c. 1863, perhaps beginning with the "Processional Tōkaidō" series. So, in this version of events, any print before 1863 must be by Kunitsuna I.

But the cataloging by MFA Boston tells a different story. Perhaps owing to the smattering of prints in their collection from the 1850s with "Kunitsuna" student signatures on Kunisada prints, they attribute every "Kunitsuna" signature in their collection to Kunitsuna II.

Which makes sense to me -- after all, Kunitsuna I is known to have been a student of Toyokuni I, and an apprentice working in Kunisada's studio (and being actively promoted by Kunisada) in the 1850s would presumably be a younger artist just getting started. So that's the basis for the attributions in my database.


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