Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Ichikawa Ebizō IV as Takemura Sadanojō in the Play Koinyōbō Somewake Tazuna

Artist:
Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
1794
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink, color, white mica on paper
Dimensions:
14 7/16 x 9 1/3 in. (36.7 x 23.7 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
JP2650
Not on view
In this portrait, one of Sharaku's most famous works, Ebizō Is acting the part of a samurai warrior of tremendous integrity at a moment of insufferable moral conflict. Indeed, in the succeeding moment he will commit seppuku, or suicide by disembowelment, to preserve his honor. Ebizō's realization of his inescapable fate is apparent in his hands, which are clenched with enormous tension, while his eyes seem to peer out of a face devastated by the pain of his fatal dilemma. Sharaku has arranged the drapery folds to amplify the anguish expressed by the hands and orchestrate the transition between the two focal points of the composition—the hands and eyes.

In the late eighteenth century, this actor was the fourth holder of the name "Ichikawa Danjūrō," the most prestigious position in the world of Kabuki. Since he preferred his personal name, "Ebizō" was inscribed by brush on the upper right corner of this portrait, the only such inscription among extant impressions of this print.
Signature: Toshusai Sharaku ga

Inscription: By a contemporary hand : Kansei roku nen kinoye tora, aki ku gatsu (Autumn, ninth month, tiger year, Kansei 6 - 1794)

Marking: Censor's seal: Kiwame
Related Objects

Ichikawa Omezō I in the Role of Yakko Ippei from the Play Koinyōbō Somewake Tazuna

Artist: Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95) Date: 1794 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink, color, white mica on paper Accession: JP196 On view in:Not on view

Matsumoto Yonesaburo as Kewaizaka no Shosho in the Play "Katakiuchi Noriyaibanashi"

Artist: Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95) Date: ca. 1794 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP197 On view in:Not on view

Ichikawa Ebizo IV in the role of Takemura Sadanoshin

Artist: After Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95) Date: Probably late 1880s or early 1890s Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: JP733 On view in:Not on view

The Actor Segawa Tomisaburo II as the Otomos' Maid Wakakusa, Actually Prince Korehito

Artist: Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95) Date: 1794–75 Medium: Middle sheet of a triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper Accession: JP732 On view in:Not on view

Matsumoto Koshiro IV as the Fish Peddler Gorobei

Artist: After Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95) Date: Probably late 1880s or early 1890s Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper with mica ground Accession: JP734 On view in:Not on view