Utagawa TOYOKUNI I 1769-1825
Standing actor in brown kimono, hiding a
lantern in his sleeve
Signed : Toyukuni Ga
Editor : Yamado Sanshiro
Formerly in Carlhian collection
Hosaban 31,6 x 14,3 cm
Toyokuni, son of a carver of dolls and puppets, studied with Toyoharu, founder
of the Utagawa school. In
recognition of his artistic ability, Toyokuni later took the name Utagawa
Toyokuni, following the common practice of using one syllable of his master's
name. He became the most eminent member of the Utagawa school. He first
produced portraits of young women, book illustrations, and then devoted himself
to the portraits of theater actors, both on stage and in private life.
acquired the monopoly on yakusha-e portraits (actors of Kabuki) that the
Utagawa school kept until the end of the nineteenth century.
style was very personal and somewhat mannerist and his power of expressing
emotions in actor portraits was a great success. Former pupils of his, include
his adopted son Toyokuni II and Utagawa Kunisawa who later took the name of
print belonged to the André Carlhian collection (1883-1967), an antique dealer,
a renowned decorator and a collector. From 1906, he directed the Société
Carlhian et Cie, whose object was interior decoration and furniture trade,
specialized in French interiors of the 18th century with branches in Buenos
Aires, Cannes, London and New York.