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Toyonari (1885 - 1942)

Matsumoto Koshiro VII as Sukeroku

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: 1920
Size (H x W): 16.25 x 11.5 (inches)
Seals: Date seal
Signature: Toyonari ga
Condition: Very good color and impression, light wear on pearl mica ground.

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About the artist

Toyonari Yamamura began his career as a nihonga painter. He turned to woodblock printmaking at the impetus of the Shin Hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. As demand for 19th century actor prints grew among a foreign audience, Watanabe scouted Toyonari to capture the current generation of theatrical stars, both on the kabuki stage and beyond. Their partnership spanned 1917 to 1922, resulting in the series Flowers of the Theatrical World. It was only after this initial partnership that Toyonari explored other genres, some of which were self-published. During his career, he worked in two different styles with corresponding aliases, often signing as Koka for paintings and Toyonari for prints.