Monkey Theater at Asakusa

猿芝居 「當ル三月中旬より浅草御境内奥山おいて興行仕候」 「勝見鶴之助・勝見小吉・勝見花之助」

Japanese
Edo period
1860 (Ansei 7/Man'en 1), 3rd month
Artist Ichieisai Yoshitsuya (Japanese, 1822–1866)


Catalogue Raisonné

http://blog.livedoor.jp/misemono/archives/52061363.html

Dimensions

35.7 x 48.4 cm (14 1/16 x 19 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.45599

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (sumizuri-e); ink on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

Performing monkeys in scenes from famous kabuki plays. At the lower left are the names of the trainers (?): Katsumi Tsurunosuke, Katsumi Kokichi, and Katsumi Hananosuke.

Inscription

「憚りながら口上書を以て申し上げ奉り候。
御町中様、益々御機嫌能く御座遊ばされ恐悦至極に存じ奉り候、随て此度当山御開帳に付き、上方表より古今珍しき猿芝居の下り、大道具大仕掛にて何かな御意に叶ひ候芸等を、種々な工風も猿智恵の、古きを以て新しく、書き直したるいろは文字、大師の筆と云ふ事は、三ツ子も知つた高野山、はる〴〵登る石童丸、苅萱に似た修行者に、道を聞いたは清姫が、思ひも深き日高川、やふ〳〵献じて道成寺、鐘にうらみは十郎兵衛、おつるを我が子としり浪の、切てもきれぬ綱渡り、水わたりにあらね共、狐を狩に悪右衛門、安倍の保名と葛の葉狐、童子に残す一首の歌、左書やら口文字やら、尋ね来て見よ浅草の、花の名地の奥山に、興行初日より永当〳〵御来駕の程、偏に希上げ奉り候、以上。太夫元」

Signed

Yoshitsuya ga
芳艶画

Markings

Censor's seal: Monkey 3 aratame
No blockcutter's mark
改印:申三改
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