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Toyohara Chikanobu
Two Actors - Japanese Woodblock by Chikanobu Yoshu

1890's

About the Item

Two Actors - Japanese Woodblock by Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延, 1838–1912), better known to his contemporaries as Yōshū Chikanobu (楊洲周延). Colorful and expressive court scene. Two actors, both wearing extravagant kimonos, one kneeling facing left, while the other is above, looking down, a fan in his hand. A cherry tree is seen above. Vibrant blues and reds make up this woodblock. Signed "Yōshū Chikanobu" (楊洲周延) Publisher: Fukuda Hatsujiro Frame size: 18.5"H x 13.5"W Image size: 14.25"H x 10"W Chikanobu Toyohara (Japanese, 1838-1912) better known to his contemporaries as Yōshū Chikanobu (楊洲周延), was a Japanese painter and printmaker who was widely regarded as a prolific woodblock artist during the Meiji epoch. In 1875 (Meiji 8), he decided to try to make a living as an artist. He travelled to Tokyo. He found work as an artist for the Kaishin Shimbun. In addition, he produced nishiki-e artworks. In his younger days, he had studied the Kanō school of painting; but his interest was drawn to ukiyo-e. He studied with a disciple of Keisai Eisen and then he joined the school of Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi; during this period, he called himself Yoshitsuru. After Kuniyoshi’s death, he studied with Kunisada. He also referred to himself as Yōshū. Like many ukiyo-e artists, Chikanobu turned his attention towards a great variety of subjects. His work ranged from Japanese mythology to depictions of the battlefields of his lifetime to women's fashions. As well as a number of the other artists of this period, he too portrayed kabuki actors in character, and is well known for his impressions of the mie (mise en scène) of kabuki productions. Chikanobu was known as a master of bijinga, images of beautiful women, and for illustrating changes in women's fashion, including both traditional and Western clothing. His work illustrated the changes in coiffures and make-up across time. For example, in Chikanobu's images in Mirror of Ages (1897), the hair styles of the Tenmei era, 1781-1789, are distinguished from those of the Keiō era, 1865-1867. His works capture the transition from the age of the samurai to Meiji modernity, the artistic chaos of the Meiji period exemplifying the concept of "furumekashii/imamekashii". "The Korean Uprising of 1882" — woodblock print by Chikanobu Chikanobu is a recognizable Meiji period artist,[8] but his subjects were sometimes drawn from earlier historical eras. For example, one print illustrates an incident during the 1855 Ansei Edo earthquake.[9] The early Meiji period was marked by clashes between disputing samurai forces with differing views about ending Japan's self-imposed isolation and about the changing relationship between the Imperial court and the Tokugawa shogunate.[10] He created a range of impressions and scenes of the Satsuma Rebellion and Saigō Takamori.[11] Some of these prints illustrated the period of domestic unrest and other subjects of topical interest, including prints like the 1882 image of the Imo Incident, also known as the Jingo Incident (壬午事変, jingo jihen) at right. The greatest number of Chikanobu's war prints (戦争絵, sensō-e) appeared in triptych format. These works documented the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. For example, the "Victory at Asan"[12] was published with a contemporaneous account of the July 29, 1894 battle.
  • Creator:
    Toyohara Chikanobu (1838 - 1912, Japanese)
  • Creation Year:
    1890's
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 18.5 in (46.99 cm)Width: 13.5 in (34.29 cm)Depth: 1 in (2.54 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Artwork is in good condition. Color is strong with minor creasing along edges of paper consistent with age. Frame and mat included as-is.
  • Gallery Location:
    Soquel, CA
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: N90521stDibs: LU54213807242
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