Ichikawa Danjuro (市川団十郎)

Designer: Kiyonobu | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Yuki

Paper size: 23cm by 15cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [M] ? ( Change currency: $ / £ / )

Price: $ 70.00£ 56.50€ 64.50 [Reprinting]

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Description: Notes from Dave's original edition of this print: "Even if the actor's name wasn't inscribed on the print, nobody with any knowledge of the kabuki theatre could be in any doubt at all as to just who we are looking at - the large 'mon' (actor's crest) in the shape of three concentric squares tells us that this is the famous Ichikawa Danjuro. Ukiyo-e researchers seem to be divided as to whether this is Danjuro I or II, just as they are divided as to the identity of the man who designed this print. Some say Kiyonobu, some say Kiyomasu ...

"The colours you see on this print are not applied in the usual way by being printed with a baren from carved blocks, but instead are painted on with a brush. I haven't given up woodblock printmaking - it is simply that this print is from an era (the early 1700s) that predates the introduction of colour printing. It is the type known as tan-e (red picture). The black outlines of the image are carved and printed in the usual way, and once that part of the work is done, the colours are then painted on.

"Of course I kept to the original techniques when making this reproduction. I knew when I started that I was in for a long month's work, and I was right - painting in all the colours by hand takes far longer than printing them on. Many of the old tan-e are quite roughly and quickly made - the colours are just roughly smeared on. But the print that I reproduced is made quite carefully; the colours don't fit exactly within the outlines, but they are close. So I too had to work to that same standard, and it was a long haul."

Dave's blocks are now being used to made editions for the Mokuhankan venture, and the copy here was printed (and painted) by one of his young staff printers ...

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