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Asian Art
Artist: Tōshūsai Sharaku, Japanese, active 1794–95

The Actor Matsumoto Yonesaburō as Shinobu, Posing as the Courtesan Kewaizaka no Shōshō, from the play A Medley of Tales of Revenge

5th month, 1794

Ukiyo-e; polychrome woodblock print

sheet: 14 7/16 × 10 in. (36.6 × 25.4 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
1950.568
This print shows Shinobu, the younger of the two vengeful sisters in the play A Medley of Tales of Revenge, impersonating the courtesan Kewaizaka no Shōshō while plotting to avenge the murder of the sisters’ father. Sharaku has displayed not only the refined beauty of Shinobu acting as the courtesan but also the young handsome actor behind the role with almond-shaped eyes and a well-proportioned nose. The figure in the print appears more realistic than other works of the period.
Geography: 
Japan
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York, to 1950; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

George J. Lee, Edo Culture in Japanese prints, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1972), 43, no. 8.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.