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Shigeharu (1803-1853)

Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Ebizo as Issun Tokubei

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Shigeharu (1803-1853)
Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Ebizo as Issun Tokubei
Woodblock Print
14.75" x 10"
Ryusai Shigeharu ga
Very good color and impression, small worm hole bottom edge, light soiling and stain

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Questions about this piece? 212.688.0188


Tenmaya Kihei

About the artist

Born in Nagasaki, Shigeharu was one of the few full-time print artists in Osaka. He is known for his versatility of style. From the incredible delicacy to the palpable intensity his works are endlessly imaginative. He completed his first print at age 17, signing the work “Nagasaki Kunishige,” not adopting “Shigeharu” until 1826. Between 1825 and 1829, he collaborated with Kunihiro, producing several polyptychs of note. Shigeharu also collaborated with the master carver Kasuke in 1827. By 1829, Shigeharu was the most prolific artist in Osaka, producing distinguished actor prints, painted billboards, and illustrated books. Despite his success on the more commercial side of printmaking, around 1831 he focused on a more detailed and delicate approach to his work.


Shigeharu returned to his native Nagasaki following the civil and economic instability of Osaka in the 1830s. While he passed away in his hometown, some scholars contend that he returned to Osaka and completed actor bust-portraits signed “Kunishige.” His last known print was completed in 1838, but Shigeharu continued to illustrate books through 1841.

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