N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1854
Condition: good
Size: 25 x 37,5 cm

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Original woodblock print of vertical large oban (大判) format made in 1854 by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞). The work is entitled “Darkness of the Heart” (必乃やみ) and depicts the actor Seki Sanjuro III (三代目関三十郎) who plays the role of Yaoya Hanbei (八百屋半兵衛) in the theatrical version of a news story, that is the double suicide of the greengrocer Hanbei and his wife Ochiyo (お千代), which caused a great stir in the city of Osaka on the eve of the Koshin festival (庚申祭) of 1722.

The precious print is taken from a series entitled “Scenes of Darkness and Suffering” (見立闇つくし) and was produced by publisher Hayashiya Shogoro (林屋庄五郎) and by the engraver Yokokawa Takejiro (横川竹二郎).

The polychrome woodcut on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the right signs of aging and in particular wrinkles in the paper and a small hole on the man’s right shoulder, is in overall good condition.