Ichikawa Danjūrō VII Admiring Ichikawa Danjūrō I in a Portrait
Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786–1865)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print (surimono); ink, silver, and color on paper
8 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (21.6 x 19.1 cm)
Purchase, Jack Greene Gift, 2001
Not on view
This print shows the actor Ichikawa Danjūrō VII gazing at a portrait of his ancestor Danjūrō I. Seemingly in confrontation, the men adopt exaggerated poses (mie) and lance each other with piercing gazes. The famous family crest of three nested squares (mimasu) is incorporated into the design of the actors' costumes and into the frame of the portrait of Danjūrō I. The print also includes two kyōka (literally, "crazy poems"), the artist's signature "Gototei Kunisada ga," and the mimasu seal.
Signature: The print bears the artist's signature, Gototei Kunisada ga ("painted by Gototei Kunisada").
Inscription: Two kyōka (literally, "crazy poems") are inscribed by Mutamaen (illegible)-sai and Shibaen Morisago.
Marking: Seal: Mimasu, designed with three nested squares is rare.
Joan B. Mirviss Ltd. , New York, until 2001; sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," July 2, 2005–November 29, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.