skip to Main Content

March 26, 2020 11:00 AM EDT Hudson - Warren St.


Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864): The Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV as Matahei, Otsu Station

Woodcut in colors, signed 'Toyokuni ga' in toshidama cartouche with censor’s seal 'Hama, Magome Rat 5'; published by Sumiyoshiya Masagoro, 5/1852. From the Fifty-Three Stations along the Tōkaidō with Visual Parodies of Actors, 1852.

13 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (sheet), 20 7/8 x 16 3/4 in. (frame).

Kunisada’s Tōkaidō (2013), #T63-54, p. 159.
Osaka Castle Museum, Mitate no sekai (exh. Cat., 2004) #19.

Note: The portrait is of the actor Nakamura Utaemon III in the third act of the play Keisei Hangoko. Utaemon plays the character of Matahei, a frustrated painter sho wishes to have the honor of using his master’s name. After many frustrations he decides with his wife to commit suicide in despair of his talents being recognized. In a final gesture he paints a self-portrait on the side of a stone basin and the picture is miraculously transferred to the opposite side. His master amazed at the miracle confers on him the honor he desires. In celebration, Matahei and his wife Otoku dance to a hand drum, the finale of the play.



Minor fading and wear to sheet edge. Otherwise apparently in good condition. Not examined out of frame.

Not withstanding this report or any discussion concerning condition of a lot, all lots are offered and sold "as is" in accordance with our conditions of sale.


Estimate: $200 - $300
Property from a Distinguished Gentleman, New York City
Hammer Price


Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us
Back To Top