Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Print Du Jour

This fantastic new arrival was part of a small collection of recently acquired Japanese Woodblock prints:

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (17977-1861)
Gentoku, on his black horse Tekiro, leaping into the gorge of Tan
Woodblock print (nishiki-e)
1836 (Tenpô 6)
Oban tate-e single sheet [9.5 x 14 inches]

Xuande (Gentoku) Crossing the Tan Gorge
Cens: Kiwame
Series: Heroes of the Popular Romance of the Three Kingdoms:Tsûzoku Sangokushi eiyû no ichinin
Publisher: Jôshû-ya Kinzô
Reference: Shibuya Kuritsu Shôtô Bijutsukan, Musha-e (2003),155; Robinson, Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints (1982), list S10.5

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a Chinese historical novel written in the fourteenth century by Luo Guanzhong about the period between the years 184 and 280 CE.  During this turbulent period of history, China was composed of three competing kingdoms–the Wei (also known as Cao Wei), the Han (also known as Shu Han or Shu) and the Wu (also known as Eastern Wu).

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (c.1797 - April 14, 1861) was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. He is associated with the Utagawa school.  The range of Kuniyoshi's preferred subjects included many genres: landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors, cats, and mythical animals. He is known for depictions of the battles of samurai and legendary heroes. His artwork was affected by Western influences in landscape painting and caricature.

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