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Shunei (1762 - 1819)

Kabuki Actor Wakayama Tomisaburo

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: c. 1798
Size (H x W): 13 x 5.75 (inches)
Signature: Shunei ga
Condition: Very good color and impression, very light surface soiling, small tape on upper reverse corners.

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Another impression of this print can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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.