Song of the Xylophone (Mokkin no uta): Memorial Portrait (?) of Actor Onoe Kikugorô III as the Blind Musician (Zatô) Tokuichi, actually Tenjiku Tokubei

「もつきんの歌(うた)」 三代目尾上菊五郎の座頭徳市実ハ天竺徳兵衛 (死絵ヵ)

Japanese
Edo period
1849 (Kaei 2), 4th month
Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861), Publisher Shimizuya Naojirô (Japanese)


Catalogue Raisonné

Waseda db 005-1013, 100-9247; earlier version from 1816: Rijksmuseum, The Ear Catches the Eye (2001), #83

Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 36.8 x 25.2 cm (14 1/2 x 9 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.36689

Medium or Technique

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

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

An earlier version of the design, with different blocks: 11.37809.16, 11.38325
Kuniyoshi may have recycled the design as a memorial print for the death of Kikugorô III, then using the name Ôkawa Hashizô I, in 1849.4 (Kikugorô III had officially retired from the stage in 1847.7, but he returned under the name Ôkawa Hashizô I in 1848.4 and continued to act until his death).

Signed

Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga

一勇斎国芳画

Markings

Censors' seals: Mera, Murata
No blockcutter's mark

改印:米良、村田
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