Kuniyoshi: Taira Tomomori prepares to jump into the sea (Sold)

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Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Title: Taira Tomomori prepares to jump into the sea
Date: ca. 1844

Dan-no-uraTatakai no dzu The hero Taira Tomomori, on the brink of defeat at the battle of Dan-no-ura ties himself to a huge anchor and throws himself into the sea. To the left is his retainer Sagami Gorô and to the right his mistress Tenji no tsubone. This triptych is most likely inspired by a kabuki production. The smoky fire, the clawing waves, the plovers in formation and the approaching crabs all heighten the sense of drama in this design. This is the exact print shown in the “Heroes & Ghosts” catalog, plate 54, page 77 as well as in color in “The Warrior Prints” by Robinson, plate 49. (This design is also in the collection of the British Museum, MFA, the Bidwell Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum). Provenance: From the personal collection of B. W. Robinson.

Dimensions: ôban triptych
Publisher: Kogaya Katsugorô
Literature: Robinson (1982), #T144 and plate 49; Springfield (1968) #134; Suzuki (1992) #131; “Heroes & Ghosts”, plate 54.
Seal: Censor’s seals Murata-Mera
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga with his paulownia