The Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) - Project
My first Japanese
woodblock print reproduction I bought aged 15 in the year 1970. In the
following two decades I read some books about Japanese woodblock prints
and occasionally bought a new print. Where I
looked for prints, fleamarkets or auctions, I always could find prints by
Kunisada, but I couldn’t find any literature about him. When he was
mentioned in literature
he was regarded as
rather inferior to the greats of classical ukiyo-e.
a few exceptions, such as actor portraits and portraits of beautiful
women, at the beginning of his career, and a series of large-size actor
head-portraits near the end, it was thought that he had produced only
inferior works. It was not until the early 1990’s, with the appearance of
Jan van Doesburg’s overview of the artistic development of Kunisada, Ellis
Tinios’s introduction to his actor woodblock prints and Sebastian Izzard’s
extensive study of his work, that this picture began to change.
The site displays c. 4.500 prints, mostly ordered by series.
You also can find a list of around 1100 identified series (Kunisada’s series list), a reference list (books and internet sites), a site with Kunisada’s signatures and seals , a list of kabuki actors portrayed by Kunisada and a list of kabuki plays illustrated by Kunisada.
Please send new informations and files
For the friends of Kunisada's great contemporaries, Hiroshige and
Kuniysohi, two sites can be recommended:
only search Kunisada.de