Wrestlers, c. 1890
Photographic materials and colors on paper
8 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (21 x 26 cm)
This work is one of 50 hand-colored albumen prints of protraits and scenes of Japanese life.
Content : Gilt-edge leaves are tabbed into album with lacquer boards and leather spine, with the title, "Japan," in gold. Front cover has hand-painted and inlaid scene of a man pulling a rickshaw in which a woman with an umbrella is seated. Both wear traditional garb. Inlays are of ivory. Back cover is painted with the images of a dragonfly, cricket, praying mantis, butterfly and another winged insect, possibly a bee. End papers and doublure are of imitation moire.
Content : Views are numbered with Arabic numerals in negative.
In the lower right hand corner, the number 41 appears with the title. The number 41 is also stamped on the lower right.
hand-colored albumen print
One of a small number of vertical compositions in the album, this work depicts two wrestlers, one squatting at the left, the other at the right, of a man who stands in the center of the piece, behind the two wrestlers. This image appears to record the moment just before the match begins. The wrestlers look downward, their heavy bodies tipped inward toward one another, naked except for the wide loincloth each man wears. Each athlete wears his hair pulled up into topknot. Behind them, a man stands, fully dressed, in traditional Japanese garb. He is bent forward slightly and holds what appears to be a stick in one hand. In the other, hidden behind the wrestler on the left, he may be holding something (such as a gong) that will make noise when he strikes it.
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