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Kiyotada IV (1875 - 1941)

Kabuki Actor as Kagekiyo

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: c. 1935
Size (H x W): 16.5 x 11 (inches)
Seals: Torii
Signature: Kiyotada hitsu
Condition: Very good color and impression, soiling and wear on margins, light creasing bottom edge, embellished with burnishing and grey mica ground.

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About the artist

Kiyotada Torii (Torii VII) was a 20th century print artist and the seventh generation of Torii School printmakers. Born in Tokyo as Chokichi Saito, Kiyotada was adopted into the Torii family - a long line of printmakers with strong ties to Kabuki theater - by Kiyosada Torii. As a young man, Kiyotada briefly studied Tosa-style painting under Mitate Kawabe, but returned to the Torii style, theatrical scenes and actor portraits after a few years. His best-known series, Kabuki Juhachiban (1895-1896), illustrates eighteen Kabuki plays dating back to the early 19th century, each performed by the Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors. Kiyotada based the series of his father Kiyosada's sketches. In addition to his many works commissioned by theaters, Kiyotada completed senso-e (war prints) depicting the Russo-Japanese War. He was the adoptive father of Shin Hanga artist Torii Kotondo (Torii VIII, née Akira Saito).