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 T?kaid? 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 T?kaid? (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.
Property from a Distinguished Gentleman, New York City