Shunsen, Natori (1886 - 1960), "Nakamura Ganjiro I as Kamiya Jihei (Pre-Earthquake)"
|Title||Nakamura Ganjiro I as Kamiya Jihei (Pre-Earthquake)|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Edition||First and only.|
|Publisher||S. Watanabe Color Print Co.|
|Reference No||The New Wave; Plate #193, pg. 161|
|Size||20 -1/4 x 10 " (large over-sized design)|
Notes: The first Natori Shunsen woodblock print published by S. Watanabe. Signed upper right: 'Shunsen', with artist red seal. Full mica background. Distinctive over-sized circular S. Watanabe publishers seal; generally found only in the very earliest Watanabe published designs. Exceedingly rare. The last image, includes Robert (Bob) O. Muller and his wife Inge viewing this design, C.1940s.
In 1916, Shunsen showcased the painting The Actor Nakamura Ganjiro as Kamiya Jihei in the Gekiga tenrankai ('Exhibition of theatrical pictures') at the gallery, Gahakudo, in the Kyobashi district in Tokyo. The publisher Watanabe Shozaburo, upon seeing this painting was greatly impressed by Shunsen's talent and suggested that they collaborate on the production of actor prints. In the same year Watanabe issued a print of the original painting. This project was to be the beginning of a long fruitful relationship between artist and publisher. - The New Wave, pg. 161