Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI (1839-1892)



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A vertical triptych showing Taira no Kiyomori (1118-1181) watching Akugenta Yoshihira (“Wicked Genta of Kamakura”) (1140-1160) become the Thunder God and strike Namba no Jiro (1141-1160) down with a thunderbolt. An exceptional design of a subject that produced some excellent interpretations by Kuniyoshi and his pupils. Kiyomori nyudo Nunobiki no taki yuran Akugenta Yoshihira no rei Namba Jiro o utsu. The story originates from the Heiji Monogatari and relates how Minamoto no Yoshihira was defeated in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160 and decapitated by Namba no Saburo Tsunefusa, a retainer of Taira no Kiyomori. He pledges to return and kill Namba with a thunderbolt which he succeeds in doing in 1168 at the Nunobiki Waterfall. There is an alternative version of events that gives the decapitation and subsequent revenge killing as all taking place at the Nunobiki Waterfall. Published by Kinkyo (Omiya Kyujiro) in 1868. Of the utmost rarity: There might have been impressions circulating privately, but I have never seen an example for sale since I started dealing: Perhaps few impressions were printed, but the vertical triptych format is not conducive to it surviving intact. Another impression is in the MET, acc. no. 2007.49.307a-c. Possibly Yoshitoshi’s masterpiece.

 

Fine impression and colour. Some slight trimming. Oxidation and minor horizontal crease at bottom of centre sheet evident au verso, but otherwise in very good condition. Signed Tsukioka Yoshitoshi hitsu.

 

Status: Sold

 

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