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Segawa Tomisaburo II as Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando.
||230mm x 357mm
The outer kimono being held by the actor at his shoulder is black and is decorated with chrysanthemums in various colors. There is a rose under kimono, and the innermost one is in white.
To western critics this print seems one of the most malicious, or shall we say, most scornful of Sharaku's portraits; and the weasel face, the effectively distorted eyebrows, the expression of utterly banal vulgarity, are all the more striking when one remembers that these actors of the Segawa line had been famous for generations for their impersonations of women and the supreme grace which had marked with distinction every motion of their flowing draperies. Kiyohiro and Shunsho had been stirred by Segawa actors to their loveliest creations; Buncho had made one of them immortal in prints whose beauty he never reached again; and here Sha-raku, emphasizing as is his wont the animal characteristics, the littlenesses of conceit and vulgarity in an actor, breaks through the dream and dispels it in a realism that has gone on into satire. It is no wonder that the earliest comment on his work speaks of it as filled with exaggeration. But notice the eyebrows, not only here but in many of the other bust-portraits as well. Has any other artist ever made eyebrows play so important and so varied a part in his compositions? The print is a masterpiece from whatever point of view it may be judged.
Henderson H.G. and Ledoux L.V., Sharaku's Japanese Theater Prints, an illustrated guide to his complete work., Dover New York, Reprint, 1984Summary Page | Home | actors | Previous Picture | Next Picture |