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Males

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Torii Kiyonobu II, Japanese, (1706–1763)
A Triptych of Young Males, the Left Side (Arashi), c. 1770
Ink on Paper
12 5/16 in. x 5 15/16 in. (31.27 cm. x 15.08 cm.)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. James W. Johnson
Accession Number: 46.1.145


Commentary
By the mid-18th century, some publishers had developed simple color printing techniques, enabling the creation of color prints with a limited palette, usually red, green and yellow, known as benizuri-e, or “red-printed pictures.” This is an example of a single-sheet print, often used to promote pleasure houses or Kabuki performances. Torii Kiyonobu II specialized in prints of Kabuki actors, and here, he depicts one (the crest on his sleeve tells us his name is Arashi) in the role of an elegant young man – identified by the bald patches on his head – writing a letter to a lover.

- Meher McArthur, January 7, 2021

Marks
Signed: Torii Kiyonobu hitsu.

Medium
Woodblock print, ink on paper, three-color printing (benizuri-e)

Object Description
Edo period color woodblock print with an image of a man writing, in an interior setting.

Publisher
Iga-ya seal.

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