UTAGAWA KUNISADA - A UNIQUE COLLECTION

MBFA features kabuki actor prints by Japanese print designer Utagawa Kunisada (1789 - 1865)

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Matt thinks Kunisada was a fascinating artist, an under-recognized master of the Japanese ukiyo-e genre.  The history of the ukiyo-e prints includes some great artists: Harunobu, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro,  Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi, but in Matt's view the biggest mountain of them all, Kunisada, remains largely unexplored by scholars.   Perhaps the scale of his work and output was just too big for scholars, dealers, and collectors to explore (over 30,000 print designs compared to Hokusai's 1800).   


The Wikipedia entry on Kunisada reads:
"Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese: 歌川 国貞; also known as Utagawa Toyokuni III (三代歌川豊国); 1786 – 12 January 1865) was the most popular, prolific and financially successful designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints in 19th-century Japan. In his own time, his reputation far exceeded that of his contemporaries, Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi."

There are several prominent scholars in the field working to change this but market forces haven't caught up.

The result?
Exceptionally fine examples of very great art that you can have hanging in your house for less of an investment than you would expect.