Yoshitoshi 芳年: Sadanobu Threatening a Demon in the Palace at Night

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Sadanobu Threatening a Demon in the Palace at Night

Series: New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts新形三十六怪撰
Date: 1889

The nobleman Fujiwara no Tadahira stops in his tracks to confront a demon that has approached him from behind while traversing the palace on imperial business. The minister here shows no fear, remonstrating the apparition and challenging it, causing the demon to flee. We see the confident determination in Tadahira’s face; a contrast to the tortured visage of the demon. The demon is grotesquely twisted and hairy; its strange coloration comes from the use of an orange-grey oxidizing lead pigment. There is a terrific black-on-black pattern on the minister’s rob, done with a technique called shomen-zuri.  Beautifully printed with a three-colored cartouche, largely considered a first edition.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: 37 x 22 cm   Publisher: Sasaki Toyokichi
Literature: See Stevenson’s “New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts”, page 20, plate I. Segi 1985, p. 76, no. 94.2. van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 141, no. 65.1. Stevenson 2005, p. 84, no. 1; Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2012, p. 147, no. 220. See Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Museum of Asian Art and LACMA museum collections.

Seal: Taiso Signature: Yoshitoshi