Torii Kiyonobu II
Ichikawa Danjūrō II and Segawa Kikunojō I in a Stage Scene

Signed: Torii Kiyonobu zu; Publisher’s seal: Mura (Murataya Jirōbei); hosoban, 32.2 x 15.4 cm; urushi-e with karazuri with traces of mica and metallic pigments

Ichikawa Danjūrō II and the onnagata Segawa Kikunojō I in a scene from a sewamono (bourgeois play). Sitting on the veranda of a house, Danjūrō has taken off one of his sandals and has turned to Kikunojō in a relaxed posture. The fine quality of this print’s design and colouration make it an outstanding example of hand-coloured lack printing (urushi-e).

Provenance: Georg Oeder, Düsseldorf (H.W.Lange, Berlin, October 1943); Renate Berk; F.Tikotin, La Tour de Peilz (June 1965)
Riese Collection #11

A scene from an unidentified sewamono, a kabuki play dealing with the lives and loves of modern citizens rather than with history or legendary events. Danjūrō is seated next to a water bucket, behind which is a closed sliding door. On a platform behind Kikunojō to the left is a set of books with sewn covers.
In the clarity of its design, the crispness of impression, and the freshness of its colour, this is an excellent example of a hand-coloured “lacquer” print. Prints of this type are called urushi-e, or ‘lacquer’ prints because of the shining black which is used with great effect on the man’s jacket in this print. This black was actually writing ink (sumi), mixed with animal glue. The glue glistened as it dried, producing a lacquer-like effect. Likewise, the “gold dust” which appears on Kikunojō’s kimono and on other hand-coloured prints in this collection, was probably brass rather than gold.

Reproduced in Ingelheim catalogue, no. 17 (colour)
Riese, Asiatische Studien, p. 76, pl. 4 (colour)