Kiyochika: Taira no Tadamori Captures the Pries of Midô Temple (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林清親 (1847-1915)
Title: Taira no Tadamori Captures the Pries of Midô Temple, 1st edition
Date: ca. 1883

One of Kiyochika’s most evocative historical triptychs. We see the moment where Taira no Tadamori discovers that the ghostly figure he had seen from a distance in the outskirts of Kyoto was in fact a bedraggled priest replenishing the oil in the stone lanterns. Tadamori here seems to be retying the sword on his back after realizing the harmlessness of the supposed ghost. The spooky evening with the haunting trees and swamplike ground is very effectively depicted. 

The colors are perfect, with bright lights glowing from the lanterns as well as their reflections on the watery ground, as well as the humble stick used as a torch to light the lanterns by the rather pitiful figure of the oil replenisher. The oil “thief” is shown on tiptoe, his nails overgrown and his expression quite pitiable beneath his straw rainhat. We have the best of all Kiyochika elements here, as he was known as a master of evening scenes as well as an artist who borrowed elements of western engraving for some of his designs. We see the western-style elements on the garments worn by the two men as well as on the trees themselves.

Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. With some thinning to the thin paper and repair in upper rightmost margin. This is from the first edition, with the white border rather than the patterned margin.
Dimensions: ôban triptych 35 x 72 cm
Publisher: Hara Taneaki
Literature: Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan by Henry D. Smith II, 1988, number 72, page 67.
Signature: Kiyochika