VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Portrait of the Actor Koraiya Kinsho (Ichikawa Komazo III)
MNK VI-4464
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

There are only three known copies of this woodblock print. Sharaku, one of the most mysterious of the Ukiyo-e masters, made about 150 woodblock prints of portraits of actors (yakusha-e) in the period between May 1794 and January 1795. The expression of his images of the theatre stars verged on caricature. One of such depiction is this unique bust portrait of Ichikawa Komazo III in the role of Oyama Taro Takaie. The play, entitled Matsu wa Misao Onna kusunoki, was staged on 1st November, 1794 in the Kawarazaki-za Theatre. Koraiya was the family name of this actor-poet and Kinsho was his pen name.

History of the Object
Although in Feliks Jasieński’s collection of books, which is presently in the custody of the Cracow Museum, there are numerous auction catalogues, among others, catalogues of the Barboutau, Bing, Burty, Gillot and Hayashi collections, it is impossible to associate them with specific works of the Jasieński collection on the basis of short descriptions of individual items.

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Type
Print 
Materials
Colour woodblock print on paper, nishiki-e 
Measurements
oban 
Creator name
Toshusai Sharaku 
Creator date
fl. 1794-1795 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; 1794 
Function
artwork 
Acquisition
It was donated by Feliks Jasieński (1861-1929). Feliks Jasieński was a Polish collector, connoisseur, critic and music lover, and an outstanding personality. His interests in art and music, as well as his personal intellectual and social qualities, brought him close to the artistic elite of Paris, the capital of art. Feliks Jasieński donated about 15,000 art objects from the Far and Middle East, Poland and other European countries to the National Museum in Cracow. Japanese art was represented by approximately 6,500 items, including paintings, sculptures, fabrics, kimonos, obi sashes, lacquerware, ceramics, enamelware, bronzes, dyeing stencils, decorative art objects, arms and armours. The widest range of 5,000 objects was provided by the most valuable and consistent group of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints which were Jasienski’s first and probably strongest fascination. 
Copyright
The National Museum in Krakow 
Acknowledgements
Beata Romanowicz, Curator of the Far Eastern Art Department, The National Museum in Cracow and Zofia Maria Alber (1924-1999), Former Head Curator of the Far Eastern Art Department, The National Museum in Cracow 
Owner
The National Museum in Krakow 
Museum
The National Museum in Krakow 
Credit line
 

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