LOVE POTION (Toyohara Kunichika)

N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1887
Condition: good
Size: 72 x 35 cm



In the center of this magnificent triptych, made in 1887 by the artist Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周), the young Yushide (夕秀), priestess of the Ise Shrine (伊勢神宮), in the dramatic moments preceding her suicide by means of the sacred arrow that she carries in her hair. Behind her is the father Shindozaemon (新洞左衛門) who with his sword will bring to light the deception in which the daughter was treated, victim of the love potion imorizake (守宮酒) because of which she was granted to the attractive Onnanosuke (女之助), on the left of the triptych, younger brother and brother-in-law of the wicked Kenmotsu (監物), the man on the far right, and Hashidate (橋立), the woman depicted on the left panel behind the young man.

The episode referred to by this work is taken from the last scene of the third act of the famous kabuki play “Karukaya Doshin Tsukushi no Iezuto” (苅萱桑門筑紫車榮). The actors who play the protagonists are, from left to right, Iwai Matsunosuke (岩井松之助), Gado Kataoka (片岡我童), Narikomaya Fukusuke (成駒屋福助), Nakamura Shikan (中村芝翫) and Takasagoya Fukusuke (高砂屋福助).

The prints on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging, the imperfections on the margins and the ancient restorations on the back, are in good general condition.