Kunichika Series: “The Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room”), 1883

Toyohara Kunichika, 1883; “The Popularity of the Upstairs Dressing Room” (Gakuya no nikai kage no hyoban); Publisher: Takazawa Fusajiro; Size: Ôban 37.5 x 25 cms / 14 3/4″ x 9 7/8″); From Jesper Heine’s Series of the floating world group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1809293345954925/posts/2480864242131162/ 

This is absolutely without doubt one of my favourite series from Kunichika – I love the subtle use of grey shadows which contrast with the colours of the actor’s kimonos, glimpsed through the gap in the screens. It’s a lovely illustration of a scene that so many kabuki fans would have dreamed of witnessing – to see their idols making-up and getting ready to perform. You can also see the dressers talking to them or carrying their hair-pieces to be applied before they go on stage.

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