|Artist||Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)|
|Dimensions||Vertical ôban [~14 x 9 inches]|
Series: Yôbu hakkei : Military Brilliance of the Eight Views
Artist Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi
Artist Seal: Yoshi Kiri
Publisher: Yenshu-ya Hikobei
Refrence: Robinson, B.W. Kuniyoshi: The Warrior Prints. Phaidon, Oxford, 1982, S76.7.
A dramatic composition depicting the moment of defeat of General Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama which originally took place in 1560. The battle was fought at night during an intense downpour.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) joined the famous Utagawa School, then headed by the great master Toyokuni Utagawa (1769 - 1825) at the age of fourteen. According to other sources, he had been trained by Katsukawa Shuntei before this. Kuniyoshi achieved his commercial and artistic breakthrough in 1827 with the first six designs of the series The Hundred and Eight Heroes of the Suikoden. The series was about one hundred and eight rebels and honorary bandits, based on an old Chinese novel from the fourteenth century. The story was very popular in Japan. The artist continued with this pattern of success and concentrated on print subjects of warriors and heroes. He was even nicknamed Warrior Print Kuniyoshi. After being financially settled, he turned to other subjects - ghost stories, comic prints, landscapes, beautiful women and actor prints. The artist also tried his luck with another subject, natural life prints, showing animals like birds, fish and cats. These kinds of new subjects, like the landscape print, had first been made popular by Ando Hiroshige. Since the early 1840s, Kuniyoshi prints show some influence of western style painting and printmaking. The artist possessed a collection of western engraving prints. He admired them as much as the European Impressionist artists would admire Japanese woodblock prints later. Western influence can be found in Kuniyoshi prints in several ways: the use of the Western perspective, the way he designed clouds and the way he tried to show the effects of light and shadow.
Condition: Trimmed to image on lower and right margin.