Actor Shikan (Nakamura Shikan IV), from the series Seven Poems for Good Fortune at Sunrise on New Year's Day in the Modern World (Tôsei hinode shichifuku kuren)

当世日の出七冨句連 「芝翫」 (四代目中村芝翫)

Japanese
Edo period
1865 (Genji 2/Keiô 1), 12th month
Artist Toyohara Kunichika (Japanese, 1835–1900), Publisher Iseya Rihei (Kinjudô) (Japanese)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban

Accession Number

11.40610

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

Actors are tying poems signed with their poetry names to snow-covered branches of red plum. The MFA has five of the seven sheets of the series; the other two, including the right sheet with the series title, are in the Waseda database. The seven sheets fit together as a heptaptych, probably in the following order, from right to left:

Sheet 1: Waseda db 007-0778, Ichimura Kakitsu IV
Sheet 2: 11.40609, Ôtani Tomoemon V
Sheet 3: Waseda db 007-0761, Kawarazaki Gonjûrô I
Sheet 4: 11.40610, Nakamura Shikan IV
Sheet 5: 11.40611, Bandô Hikosaburô V
Sheet 6: 11.40536, Sawamura Tanosuke III
Sheet 7: 11.40612, Ichikawa Kuzô III

Signed

Kunichika hitsu

国周筆

Markings

Censor's seal: Ox 12 aratame
No blockcutter's mark

改印:丑十二改
彫師:なし

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection