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Soldiers and Warriors

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Okumura Masanobu, Japanese, (1686–1764)
Picturebook of Famous Leaves and Grasses, vol. 2, 1759
Ink on Paper
10 5/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. (26.99 cm x 18.1 cm)


Object Type: Book
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of the Johnson Family Trust
Accession Number: 2003.6.19


Alternate Title: Ehon komyo futaba-gusa

Commentary
A note with the book identifies it as being authored by Tsukioka Masanobu, pub. 1759-1766. Another note reads: Ehon Komyo Futaba Gusa 1759, by Tsukioka Settei, Picturebook of Famous Leaves and Grasses.

Okumura Masanobu (1686-1764) was a mostly self-taught, innovative artist who had a major influence over the ukiyo-e world. His introduction of the use of lacquer adds much more richness to his prints compared to other early works. His works range from illustrated books to prints of kabuki actors and bijin-ga. This print depicts a historical scene of the Genpei War in 1180-1185 in Kyoto. The man in the middle holding the sword is one of the rebels trying to take over the empire. The characters on the right corner are his name. The rebel's swinging hair and sleeves add dynamism to the scene while the exaggerated facial expressions on the two figures brings more tension. The dead body and the broken baskets at the back accentuate the rebel's power. Though this is a monochrome print, Masanobu successfully builds the tension of the scene.

Marks
Three title pages end with the signature Masanobu and two seals.

Medium
Black ink woodblock prints.

Object Description
Book from a with a blue cover, three pages of calligraphy, 23 double page black and white illustrations and 4 single page illustrations, interspersed with text.

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