Kiyochika: Collection of Crazy Pictures with Original Wrapper (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)
Title: Collection of Crazy Pictures (Kyôga shû)
Date: 1896

Kyôga shû (Collection of Crazy Pictures.) Nine prints with original wrapper. Each design offers a humorous take on a traditional Japanese tale. To pick out a few that are easily interpreted: First would be the image of a clapping (and very much alive) Kesa Gozen who has foiled her would-be killer, Endo Morita, by placing a substitute for her husband (which in reality she did with her own body) comprised of a gourd for the head and straw for the body. Here, the foiled assassin looks haplessly at the gourd in his hand. In another print we see a humorous version of Taira Kiyomori calling back the setting sun with his fan; although here he is merely calling back a messenger (selling papers?) who has a circular red badge on his back. In another print, a group of fierce, premodern Chinese warriors are seated in a miserable group as a Japanese cameraman takes their picture with a large box camera. The image on the front of the wrapper shows a man reading aloud a notice so fiercely that the three people in front of him must cover their ears. On the verso of the wrapper it gives Kurimoto Choshitsu of Kyobashi as the person publishing; the printing company as Kurimoto Printing Department, as well as the addresses, dates and an “authenticity” seal. Each print has a layer of mica. Extremely scarce; no other examples could be found.

Condition: Generally excellent impression, color and condition, although the wrapper has some soil and wear.
Dimensions: chuban (26 x 17.6 cm)
Publisher: Bijutsu Kyokai
Signature: Kobayashi Kiyochika (on wrapper); Kiyochika on each print