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Hirosada Utagawa was a leading artist of the so-called Osaka School of printmakers. The Osaka School was specialized in producing commissioned prints for the kabuki theaters that were very popular at the time in the large cities like Edo (today Tokyo).
You find Hirosada Utagwa also under the name Hirosada Konishi.
First Publication: July 2008
Latest Update: May 2013
Prints by the Osaka School of printmakers are also called kamigata prints or kamigata-e. They have a specific style that is different from woodblock prints made at the same period in Edo, then by far the major artistic printmaking center in Japan. The total output by Osaka printmakers like Hirosada was only a fraction of the prints produced in Edo.
Osaka prints are somewhat different from their counterparts made in Edo by such artists like Kunisada or Kuniyoshi Utagawa. The facial expressions are kind of odd. Bodies are often drawn in exaggerated, distorted ways. Collectors of Japanese prints are either against or are great fans of kamigata-e. It is a bit of a divide, depending on one's personal artistic preferences.
Kamigata-e have one great advantage for art collectors. They are usually inexpensive.
At the time when we wrote this article in July 2008, the artelino archive of sold art prints counted about 80 sold woodblocks by Hirosada. They can be grouped into single sheets, diptychs and triptychs. The typical size for Hirosada is chuban, a Japanese kind of standard size of ca. 7.5 by 10 inches = 19 x 25.5 cms.
Out of these the single sheet actor portraits are in our view an especially interesting genre. The actors show strange poses. The interesting aspect is the decoration of heads and bodies with helmets, clothes or body tattoos. Another aspect of interest are the compositions. The large flat areas are carefully balanced. The lack of any perspective and the expressive faces and poses seem to anticipate elements of modern art of the early twentieth century.
The gallery depicts ten single actor portraits in chuban format that we like. The woodblock prints shown were usually offered for reserves of $ 100 or less. Please enjoy the gallery.
91 sold object(s) by Hirosada Utagawa active ca. 1820-1860 in our Art Archive
1 signature(s) by Hirosada Utagawa in our Signature Database
Author: Dieter Wanczura
The images on this web site are the property of the artist(s) and or the artelino GmbH and/or a third company or institution. Reproduction, public display and any commercial use of these images, in whole or in part, require the expressed written consent of the artist(s) and/or the artelino GmbH.
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