Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art presented Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Japanese Paintings and Prints at 17 East 76th Street, New York during Asia Week. The exhibition featured a selection of prints by Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), and Hiroshige (1797-1858), and paintings by Eishi (1756-1829), Eisen (1790-1848), and others.
Five designs from Kuniyoshi’s Famous Places in Edo (Toto meisho) series have highlighted the show as well as several theatrically themed prints featuring cats as actors performing in kabuki plays. Of special note was a particularly fine example of Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s Cats suggested by the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, a triptych from 1847.
The premise of this triptych is a play on words; Kuniyoshi has re-imagined the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido in feline terms that sound like familiar place names, but allude to the quirks and habits of his favorite animal, the cat.