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  • Actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Nagoya Sanza


Shunei (1762 - 1819)

Actor Sawamura Sojuro III as Nagoya Sanza

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: c. 1794
Size (H x W): 15.25 x 10 (inches)
Publisher: Harimaya Shinshichi
Seals: Kiwame
Provenance: Amstutz
Signature: Shunei ga
Condition: Very good color and impression, light surface soiling and wear near corners.



It has been suggested that this design portrays the actor in a performance of the play "Keisei Sanbon Karakasa," performed at the Miyako Theater in the 7th month of 1794.

About the artist

A student of Shunsho, Shunei Katsukawa was a prolific and successful woodblock print artist. Most active from the mid-1780s through the 1790s, his earliest known work is an illustrated book published in 1782. He is credited as one of the first artists to popularize the emerging okubi-e, or “big head,” style portraits. In addition to actor prints, Shunei designed studies of sumo wrestlers. A contemporary of Toyokuni I and Sharaku, Shunei’s prints are distinctive in their active, yet balanced compositions and dramatic flair.