THE PEONY LANTERN (Utagawa Kunisada III)

N.1 triptych of ukiyo-e woodblock prints
Year: 1892
Condition: very good
Size: 70 x 35 cm



Precious triptych of polychrome woodblock prints made in 1892 by the artist Utagawa Kunisada III (三代目歌川国貞) and depicting, on the right, the master Iijima Heizaemon (飯嶋平左衛門) and, at the center, the young warrior at his service Kosuke (若党幸助), the son of a samurai murdered eighteen years earlier by Iijima himself. On the left panel the adulterous wife of the master, Okuni (妾くに), and her lover and nephew Miyanobu Genjiro (宮ノ部源次郞), who together plan to kill Iijima.

The characters depicted are some of the protagonists of the famous ghost story “The Peony Lantern” (怪談牡丹燈篭) and in these prints, entitled “At Iijima’s house” (飯嶋宅の場), are interpreted from left to right by actors Bando Shucho (坂東秀調), Ichikawa Yaozo (市川八百藏), Onoe Kikugoro (尾上菊五郎) and Onoe Matsusuke (尾上松助).

The work, edited by the publisher Fukuda Kumajiro (福田熊次郎), is in very good general condition thanks also to an ancient relining carried out on the back.