Toshusai Sharaku woodblock print to headline online sale of Japanese art

A woodblock portrait of the actor Morita Kan'ya VIII by Toshusai Sharaku is to lead an online sale of Japanese prints at Christie's with a £15,000-20,000 ($25,608-34,144) estimate.

Bidding will open on July 24 before closing on August 7.

Sharaku Christie's print
Sharaku is renowned as one of the finest practitioners of the Ukiyo-e form

The work shows Morita Kan'ya in the role of Uguisu no Jirosaku - a character in the play A Medley of Tales of Revenge, performed at the Kiri Theater in Edo in 1794.

Sharaku is one of the more mysterious figures in the history of Japanese art and has never been satisfactorily identified. He was active for a short period between 1794 and 1795 and produced around 140 prints.

During his own time, he was unpopular with his public, who reacted poorly to his warts and all depictions of his subjects.

Today he is considered one of the finest practitioners of the Ukiyo-e (floating world) form.  

Utagawa Hiroshige's Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake from his One Hundred Views of Famous Places of Edo is valued at £8,000-10,000 ($13,657-17,072).

The iconic work is one of the artist's best-known, with this example printed in 1857.

Hiroshige was one of the last artists to work within the Ukiyo-e genre and is considered by many scholars to be its greatest master.

In December last year, a copy of his Mixed View of the Provinces sold for £52,500 ($85,628) at Christie's London.

You can check out our extensive range of art and photography memorabilia here.

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