The Actors Ichikawa Monnosuke II (Shinsha) and Yamashita Kinsaku II (Riko)

Artist: Katsukawa Shunkō 勝川春好 (1743-1812)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1775
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 31.7 x 14.7 cm (12 1/2 x 5 13/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

actor, Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hosoban, Japan, kabuki, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, yakusha-e
Provenance research underway.

Instead of a single full figure, which was the most common composition for actor prints from the 1770s, the space in this print is divided into two close-up portraits. The actors are identifed by their haimyo (names used to sign their poetry), which were familiar to their fans. In the lower frame, posing in a demure and charming manner, is Riko (the actor Yamashita Kinsaku II, 1733- 1799), who was a famous onnagata. Above, with his shoulders and costume filling the frame is Shinsha (the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke II, 1743-1794). The actors often appeared together in performances at the Nakamura Theater during the 1770s, when this print was designed by Shunko, an artist of the Katsukawa school, which specialized in actor portraits. His name and the publisher's trademark are printed horizontally in the upper and lower margins.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 16, pp. 84-85.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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