Colour woodblock print, 1864, from the series in vertical oban format Thirty-six Places of Interest in Edo (just a few prints of this set exist), published by Hiranoya Shinzô.
This print has been designed by Kunisada together with Hiroshige II.
In Edo, at the middle of 19th century, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Hiroshige, being all pupils of Toyokuni but specializing in different subject, often collaborated in designing prints. Here, after the master’s death, is Hiroshige II who works together with Kunisada.
Signed Kio Toyokuni ga in the Toshidama cartouche and Hiroshige hitsu. Censor’s seal Rat 7 aratame. Very good impression and colour. Very good condition, light album backing. 350 x 237 mm.
Another specimen of this print, with a color scheme very similar to that of our impression, is at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (accession number 16.14.139)
Kunisada became a pupil of Toyokuni at the age of 15. In 1807 the young artist produced his first illustrated book, and in 1808 his first actor prints were published. His fame grew fast. While other artists like Kuniyoshi or Hiroshige had to fight for recognition for years, he was successful from the beginning. Kunisada designed a wide spectrum of traditional ukiyo-e subjects like kabuki themes, beautiful women, historical events and quite a few erotic prints. He made few landscapes. In 1825 Toyokuni I had died. Later in 1844 Kunisada decided to take the name of his master and called himself Toyokuni.