19th CenturyFine ArtFine Art PrintsJapaneseWoodcut

Utagawa Kunisada – Toyokuni III – Portrait of a Kabuki Actor

Utagawa Kunisada

also known as Utagawa Toyokuni III

(1786 – 1865)

Portrait of a Kabuki Actor

This 19th Century woodblock print on rice paper is strikingly modern with the black and white calligraphic patterns in the actor’s kimono and the bold plaid background.

Utagawa Kunisada, also known as Utagawa Toyokuni was the most prolific and successful designer of ukiyo-e (floating world) woodblock prints in 19th Century Japan.

Oban format
Around 10 X 15 inches 25 X 38 cm

Condition: Sheet lightly worn, but with good strong contrasts, as shown.


Utagawa Kunisada


Also known as: Toyokuni III or Utagawa Toyokuni III

Kunisada Utagawa was one of the most popular, prolific and commercially successful designer of Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) in the Edo period.  As a young man in Edo, he became an apprentice to Toyokuni, the great master of the Utagawa school, and followed in his footsteps as a producer of Kabuki and actor prints, celebrating known theatrical and demi-monde personalities of the period.  A well-known trendsetter in his time, he was constantly in the vanguard of fashion, and his style evolved again and again over his lifetime.