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The Picture of the Defeated Heike Clan Sinking into the Ocean

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (aka Yoshitoshi), Japanese, (1839–1892)
The Picture of the Defeated Heike Clan Sinking into the Ocean, 1853
Ink on Paper
14 1/2 in. x 29 3/8 in. (368.3 mm x 746.13 mm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo (Japan, 1615-1868)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer
Accession Number: 93.3.141


Alternate Title: Bunji gannen; Heike no ichimon horobi kaichu ni ochiiru zu

Commentary
Triptych; panels are cojoined.

Marks
Signed: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga. Censor's seal: double censor's seals (Fuku and Muramatsu) and date seal (Ushi-roku).

Medium
Colored ink woodblock on paper; triptych.

Object Description
Edo period color woodblock triptych print with an image of men in the ocean.

About 1850 Yoshitoshi was apprenticed to Kuniyoshi, one of the leading Ukiyo-e artists of the time, under whose tutelage he learned and grew. In 1853 at age fourteen he signed his first work—a nishiki-e entitled In 1185 the Heike Clan Sank into the Sea and Perished (Bunji gannen heike no ichimon bokaichu ichiru)--with his artistic name, Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi. This work, commissioned by his foster father to commemorate Yoshitoshi's coming of age, depicts a popular subject made famous by Kuniyoshi and his followers. Although he had begun to receive guidance from his teacher, Yoshitoshi displayed his own promise in this early work, using a triangular composition of three warriors against a background of concentric or radiating lines interspersed with figures and crabs.

(Ref. Keyes, Roger, and George Kuwayama. The Bizarre Imagery of Yoshitoshi: The Herbert R. Cole Collection," p.8)

Publisher
Maruya Jinpachi.

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