Title: Odawara on the 53 stations of the Tokkaido highway. Kyoto 1854
Note: The patterns in black on print 1 are called Shomen-zuri, literally, "front-printing"; a polishing technique similar to gauffrage, which was used to produce a shiny surface on black areas of some prints, often in intricate patterns; to produce this, a carved block was placed behind the print and the printed surface rubbed with a hard polisher, usually a boars tooth.
Artist: Toyokuni III (Kunisada) (1786 - 1864)
Ukiyo-e painter and print maker born in Katsushika in Musashi province, Toyokuni III (Utagawa Kunisada) lived in Edo Tokyo. At 15 he became a pupil of Toyokuni I and took the artistsí name Kunisada.
In 1807 he produced his first book illustrations and in 1808 he began to make actor prints.
In 1844 he assumed the name of his teacher Toyokuni III. He died on 12 January 1865.
He was the most popular, prolific and financially successful master of woodblock prints in the 19th Century Japan.