Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) - series and prints

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„The fifty-three stations of the Tokaido“

Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi

 

last updated:

new pictures: 02/21/02

 

new information, better files: 08/3/05

 

1. “Tokaido“ Part One (Thumbnails)
2.
“Tokaido“ Part Two (Thumbnails)

 

Kunisada designed the „Tokaido“ sometimes in his long career. This series is the first known. Shown are bijin in front of landscapes related to the stations of the Tokaido in chuban format.
In most cases the landscapes were taken from the famous Hiroshige series, „53 Stations of the Tokaido – Tokaido Gojusan tsugi no Uchi“, ca.1834-1835 (see stations #1 to #41 and #44).

For the facts why Kunisada designed some landscapes by his own and why the series include 56 prints and not the for a Tokaido series normal 55 prints Mr. Stuart Jackson suggest the following: "
In the early 1830s, perhaps in order to help promote Hiroshige's first 53 Stations on the Tokaido series which was being issued at the time, Kunisada appropriated the Hiroshige designs, added a beauty in the foreground, and issued his own chuban series published by Sanoki.. As the Hiroshige set had not fully been issued, Kunisada created completely new compositions for the latter stations and added a second print for Kyoto (so the pages would be divisable by two).

The first edition of this series seems to have been published by Sanoya Kihei and Moriya Jihei together, the prints bear the seal of both publishers and also a red kiwame seal. Later editions have only one publisher seal, either Sanoya Kihei or Moriya Jihei.

There is also a Shunga series existing where Kunisada designed couples making love infront of the landscapes taken from the Hiroshige designs. But I do have only 11 prints from this series in my catalogue, so I canīt say whether there are also prints with backgrounds not designed by Hiroshige.
And I found one fan print by Kunisada from the station "Maruko" with identical design as the print from the this Tokaido series (the fan print is dated to 1836). But this print has no title cartouche, so itīs not possible to say whether itīs from a series, too.


For comparing Hiroshigeīs designs are shown, too.


„Tokaido“ - Part One (Data)

 


 







„Tokaido“ - Part One (Overview) / „Tokaido“ - Part One (Data)

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„Tokaido“ - Part Two (Data)









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„Tokaido“ - Part One (Overview) / „Tokaido“ - Part One (Data)
„Tokaido“ - Part Two (Overview) / „Tokaido“ - Part Two (Data)
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Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) - series and prints