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Sharaku

Iwai Hanshiro IV as the Wet Nurse Shigenoi (1794)

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About the Art

This piece is taken from the play "The Colored Reins of a Loving Wife", a kabuki play that was originally written for ‘Bunraku’; puppet theatre.

This story is one of forbidden love, a tragic tale of family honour between Shigenoi and Yosaku. Shigenoi is a 'Koshemoto', a lady’s maid or wet nurse, and Yosaku is one of Lord Umanosuke’s retainers, a Samurai. Shigenoi and Yosaku fall in love and have an illicit child, but the birth is a violation of family law and is commonly punishable by death. Yosaku is banished from the clan and Shigenoi is sentenced to death, spared only after her father commitssacrificial suicide in her place.

Sharaku is known for his incredibly realistic portrayals of kabuki actors in an attempt at gaining psychological realism, for both the individual and for his role. He ignored his contemporaries who flattered and instead exaggerated their undesirable features; offending many actors.

In Japan, Sharaku is named the “enigmatic ukiyo-e master” and Sharaku’s life is still very much a mystery. Although he created nearly 150 incredible prints, his working life as an artist spanned only ten months, after which he disappeared.

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    • Arrives ready-to-hang
      • Mounting brackets for framed and canvas prints are included and centered on the frame
    • Premium quality look and feel
      • Every piece is made using the Giclee printing process, the standard for precise prints with stunning colors.
    • Made to last, even in bright/sunny rooms
      • Fade resistant paper and canvas materials, with a matte finish for an authentic look

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