Kitao SHIGEMASA (1739-1820)

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A large panel, 12.5 x 16.75 in; 31.5 x 42.5 cms in two shades of beni, yellow and blue (partially faded). Published by Eijudo c. 1768-72. Title in right panel: Uki-e Kanadehon Chushingura youchi no zu, “The Night Attack from the Storehouse of Loyalty, New Perspectives.” On the left border is written: Furyu Edo goshikizumi ganso, Eijudo Hibino, “ The original of elegant Edo pictures in five colours, Eijudo Hibino [Nishimuraya Yohachi]” This publisher considered himself the inventor of benizuri-e. Shows Act 11 of the Chushingura. This famous story revolves around the suicide of Enya Hangan in 1701. Forced to draw his sword in the Shogun’s palace by the goading of the courtier Moronao, he has no option but to commit seppuku. His retainers become Ronin and vow revenge. This Act shows the night attack by the 47 Ronin led by Yuranosuke on Moronao’s house. He is seen lower left confronted before his assassination. The Chushingura was an 11 act bunraku puppet play written in 1748. Shigemasa had a long career and was founder of the Kitao School. A prolific book illustrator including collaborations with Shunsho. Designed a number of these uki-e, western perspective prints. Extremely rare: One other impression is in the Achenbach Foundation, S.F., acc. no. 54755.84. An early rendition of this famous tale.


Very good impression and colour. Some careful restoration with slight soil and fold marks, but given the date and size in very good condition. Signed Kitao Shigemasa dzu.


Status: Available


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