Yoshitoshi 芳年: Heike Clan Beneath the Sea (Yoshitoshi's first print) (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 芳年 (1839-1892)
Title: Bunji gannen Heike ichimon horobi kaichû ni ochiiru zu (In the first year of the Bunji era [1185], the Heike clan fell into the sea and perished) 文治元年平家の一門亡海中落入る圖). 
Date: 1853, 6th month

Yoshitoshi’s first published woodblock print, issued when Yoshitoshi was only fourteen years of age. We can see the young man’s talent and confidence already evident here; he was tremendous right out of the gate. Yoshitoshi’s style is here very close to that of his teacher Kuniyoshi, and as he ages his style evolves to one that is unique, and his art keeps improving. Although this work seems to have been a success, for unknown reasons there is about a five-year gap before Yoshitoshi publishes another datable work in 1858. Here we see the defeat of the Taira (Heike) clan by the Genji clan at the battle of Dannoura in 1153. The central figure is Tomomori, who tied himself to an anchor and jumped into the sea once he saw that defeat was inevitable. This is from the second edition, published by Maruya Jinpachi.

Condition: Very good color and condition. Good impression.
Dimensions: oban triptych (36.2 x 72 cm)
Publisher: Maruya Jinpachi
Signature: Ikkeisai Yoshitoshi ga