Shiei Riding a Carp Over the Sea, c. 1882
Ink on Paper
6 7/8 in. x 9 1/8 in. (174.63 mm x 231.78 mm)
This ukiyo-e print was created during the early years of the Meiji era. In contrast to the time period’s trend of rapid modernization, this piece represents an ode to traditional Japanese symbolism. Within this work of art, Yoshitoshi illustrates the story of the Daoist immortal Shiei (or Kinko), who captured a speaking carp. The man fed the fish well, it grew to enormous size, and eventually it promised to carry its owner to heaven. The artist’s depiction of this story portrays a classic East Asian tale in a visually expressive way, through its deliberate use of dramatic mark-making, and frightened sense of emotion emanating from the facial features of the central figure.
Greta Long, (student, 2016)
On mat, in pencil: Marer 404. Artist seal: Taiso. Signed: Yoshitoshi.
Colored ink woodblock on paper; chuban.
Meiji period Japanese color woodblock print with an image of a man in a green robe, riding a giant orange carp. On a black, swirled background.
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