An image of Scene in the pleasure quarters with geisha playing the samisen

Utagawa Kunisada

(Japan 1786 – 1865)

Scene in the pleasure quarters with geisha playing the samisen, from an album of 'ukiyo-e' woodblock prints of 'kabuki' actors

Not on display
Further information

The album contains 34 striking images of kabuki actors by six late 19th century woodblock print designers: Utagawa KUNISADA I (1786-1864), Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-1880), Toyohara KUNICHIKA (1835-1900), Utagawa KUNIAKI II (1835-1888), Utagawa YOSHICHIKA (fl. 1850-60 in Osaka) and Utagawa KUNIHISA (1832-1891).

The album includes 27 multiple-sheet sets and 7 single-sheet prints, mostly dating from the early 1860s and therefore representing the last flowering of the 'ukiyo-e' woodblock print tradition. Published as sheet prints and bound together soon after publication by a Japanese collector, the prints have survived in superb condition. Almost without exception, they are fine impressions. They all show the brilliant colours typical of the period, when imported aniline dyes were being used to dramatic effect.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2005.

Place of origin
Japan: Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615–1868
Print, Book
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper, 'oban' triptych
36.0 x 73.0 cm image; 36.0 x 24.0 x 1.5 book
Signature & date

(right sheet) signed "Kunisada ga", Yamamoto Kyubei publisher's seal, Katada Chojiro block carver's seal.

James and Robin Patricia Giffen Bequest 2005
Accession number