SHAMISEN PLAYER (Utagawa Kunisada)

N.1 abuna-e woodblock print
Year: 1830 ca.
Condition: good
Size: 9,5 x 13 cm



Fine original woodblock print of vertical yatsugiriban (八切判) format made around 1830 by the famous artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) and depicting a shamisen (三味線) player while tuning her instrument. The print presented here is an “abuna-e” (あぶな絵), literally a “dangerous image”, as can be guessed from the mischievous hint represented by the barely perceptible nudity at the height of the woman’s right knee.

And, in fact, the work is taken from the erotic book “Konsei the Great Shining God” (金勢大明神), a shunpon (春本) dedicated precisely to the Shinto phallic deity Konsei Daimyojin and made by the artist in collaboration with Akushitsubei Kagefude (悪疾兵衛景筆), pseudonym of the author and poet Utei Enba II (二世烏亭焉馬).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging including slight stains, is in overall good condition.