Oban tate-e Woodblock Triptych Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900)
Size: high 43.5cm, wide 20.5cm
Object Literature: Kunichika was a student of Utagawa Kunisada and previously of Toyohara Chikanobu. His works began in the late Edo Period until the beginning of the Meiji era. Kunichika was described as having an open, friendly and sincere personality. He enjoyed partying with geisha of the Yoshiwara district, while consuming abundant amounts of alcohol. The genius of Kunichika is largely recognised, helped by the important publication of Amy Reigle Newland's Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika 1835-1900 in 1999. Kunichika has become a very collectible artist, notably for his groundbreaking reinvention of the theatre triptych in the 1890's and his earlier portrait series such as Mirror of the Flowering of Manners and Customs.
Object History: Ex Lyon & Turnbull, previously from the collection of Arthur Halcrow Verstage. Arthur Halcrow Verstage (1875-1969) was an architect who spent much of his career in the public sector. He was a student at the Royal Academy School of Architecture in the 1900s and was elected as an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1902. By 1903 he was a student and assistant at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (later known as the Central School of Art and Design) in London where William Lethaby was principal and a great influence on him. He then oversaw the design of the new school in Southampton Row from 1905-8. From here he became an architect for London County Council and was involved with many London societies, and as a founding member of the Kelmscott Fellowship, a forerunner to The William Morris Society. His large and varied collection was a reflection of his wide interest in the arts. His archive was purchased by The William Morris Society in 2005.