Portrait of Sanjō Kantarō in the Female Role of Yaoya Oshichi in the Play "Fuji no Takane" ("The High Peak of Mount Fuji")
Attributed to Torii Kiyomasu II (Japanese, 1706–1763)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Tan-e (hand-colored print); ink and color on paper
H. 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm); W. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Henry L. Phillips Collection, Bequest of Henry L. Phillips, 1939
Not on view
This print portrays Sanjō Kantarō, an actor who specialized in female impersonation. By isolating the actor and the mirror in the undefined space, Kiyomasu created an iconic image.The backward-facing mirror, withholding the actor's reflection, encourages the viewer to imagine what Kantarō sees. The barren surroundings and the simple and direct formal technique, revealed in the strong draftsmanship, serve as a metaphor for the actor's preoccupation with his own image.