Sadahide: Russians Raising Sheep for Wool

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Artist: Gountei Sadahide 貞秀
Title: Russians Raising Sheep for Wool
Date: 1860

Two Russian men focus their attention on a very goatlike sheep. ”Life Drawings of People of Foreign Nations: Russians Raising Sheep for Wool” (Ikiutsushi ikoku jimbutsu: Roshiajin rasayo kau no zu). A man in black holds two treats towards the animal, while the hatted man looks on, hand on his tasseled cane. With urushi-e (lacquer-like) printing on the black elements, which is unusual for a Yokohama-e. This work dates from the time of brief fascination with the foreigners, when they first flooded into Yokohama around 1859. Sadahide was certainly the best artist when it came to capturing the foreigners in all of their strangeness, as he was a great artist and he had a terrific eye for details. These two men seem to have wavy brown hair and blue eyes. In Asia there is a long history of lumping together sheep and goats. In ancient China, sheep and goats were depicted as symbolically interchangeable; as the eighth sign of the Chinese zodiac, the animal could be depicted as either a goat or a ram.

Condition: Excellent impression. Very good color and condition. Unbacked. Some minor nibbles to paper at edges.
Dimensions: ôban (36 x 24.7 cm)
Signature: Gountei Sadahide ga