Utagawa Kunisada (Kochoro Kunisada)

Price: $ 1,700

Kunisada (1786-1864) started his career as the chief pupil of the head of the Utagawa school, Toyokuni I. By 1807 he was publishing his first books and his first actor prints were published in 1808. Between 1810 and 1820 he signed much of his work as Gototei Kunisada, or "Kunisada of the Fifth Ferry Pavilion." Toyokuni died in 1825, leaving the title and position of head of the school to his son-in-law, Toyoshige (Toyokuni II). Kunisada's career continued successfully in spite of the fact that he believed he should be the head of the school. He studied with the Hanabusa Icho and took the name Kochoro Kunisada for a time between the late 1820's and 1844. Nine years after the death of Toyokuni II in 1835, he was elevated to head of the Utagawa school and took the name Toyokuni the Second (though he is commonly referred to as Toyokuni III). Because Kunisada changed his name several times - identifying his prints can be quite confusing for many people. In Ukiyo-e literature and catalogues he is mostly referred to as Kunisada or Toyokuni III.
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