Utagawa KUNIYOSHI (1797-1861)

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A triptych showing the ghosts of the Taira (Heike) warriors attempting to sink Yoshitsune’s ship off the coast of Settsu on his way to Shikoku. This is one of Kuniyoshi’s great designs – amongst the three or four best triptychs and is illustrated in numerous publications. The scene is the outcome of a great battle at Dan-no-ura where the Minamoto (Genji) clans clashed and defeated the Taira clans a few years earlier. The spirits of the drowned warriors rose up to seek revenge only to be pacified by Benkei reciting exorcisms with his rosary. Published 1849-52 by Enshuya Hikobei. Robinson T242. Rare.

Very good impression and colour although slightly mismatched blue on the first and second sheets. Very good condition. Full size. There appear to be three states of this design: The main difference being in the shape of the ghosts and lines in the waves only on the first state. In this (the second state) the ghosts lack some of the features that are on the first and a large spirit appears above the wave over the ship on the centre panel. The third state has further differences in the ghosts and lacks this figure. Also, the colour of the boat gets greyer. Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga.

Status: Sold

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