Iris (Shôbu): Actors Bandô Muraemon I and Iwai Kumesaburô III, from the series Selection of Ten Flowers Currently in Full Bloom (Tôsei jû kasen)
「当盛十花撰 菖蒲」 初代坂東村右衛門、三代目岩井粂三郎
1854 (Kaei 7/Ansei 1), 6th month
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Artist Utagawa Hiroshige I (Japanese, 1797–1858), Publisher Ebisuya Shôshichi (Kinshôdô) (Japanese)
Vertical ôban; 36.5 x 25 cm (14 3/8 x 9 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
MFA impressions: 11.42318, 11.45295 (second series only)
From a series first issued in 1854, in six sheets, under the title “Six Flowers…,” and reissued in 1858 with four additional designs, under the title “Ten Flowers…” For the sheets already published, the censor’s seals remain the same in the second edition; but the series title and some of the actors’ faces are changed.
Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche (foreground); Hiroshige hitsu (background)
Censor's seals: aratame, Tiger 6
No blockcutter's mark
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)
 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.
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection