VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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The Actors Ichikawa Danjuro VI and Iwai Hanshiro IV
MNK VI-1021
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This print belongs to one of the most important categories in Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo period (1600-1868) – the yakusha-e actor’s portrait. Iwai Hanshiro (playing female role onnagata) is portrayed in a purple cap (yaro-boshi) that covers the shaved place over the forehead. He is leaning over the squatting figure with a bow. Ichikawa Danjuro IV, whose descendants have continued the theatrical tradition to the present day, is shown in the role of a samurai, wearing a special stage make-up (kumadori). The red lines symbolize the virtues and goodness of the character. Most probably it is a scene from the special performance in Nakamura-ze Theatre in 1798.

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 which are 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
Katsukawa Shuntei 
Creator date
1770-1820 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; 1796-99 
Function
artwork 
Acquisition
Donated by Feliks Jasieński (1861-1929) in 1920. Feliks Jasieński was a Polish collector, connoisseur, critic and music lover, and 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 Cracow 
Acknowledgements
Beata Romanowicz, Head 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 Cracow 
Museum
The National Museum in Krakow 
Credit line
 

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