Toshusai Sharaku

Toshusai Sharaku (act.1794095)

Sharaku is a painter, who appeared from nowhere and disappeared just as suddenly after leaving over 140 pieces during the short period between May 1794 and January 1795. He left the portraits of actors who performed in plays, staged in the three authorized theaters in Edo. Sharaku’s portraits with their unique expressions were initially accepted by people with surprise, but they could not retain the interest because the painter’s exaggerated portrayals often destroyed the images of adored popular actors. Thus, Sharaku was forgotten until the beginning of the 20th century, when a German, Julius Kurth wrote the book “Sharaku,” which acquainted Europeans with his greatness.