Yoshitoshi 芳年 : Rin Chu Kills Officer Riku vertical diptych

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Title: Rin Chu Kills Officer Riku near the Temple of the Mountain Spirit (Hyôshitô Rin Chû sanshinbyô no mae ni oito riku gukô o korosu)

Date: 1886

This story is from chapter 10 of the Chinese novel "108 Tales of the Suikoden". The Minister of war, Gao, has ordered his officer Riku to kill Rinchu and to make it look like an accident. Riku sets  fire to Rinchu’s guardhouse, but Rinchu was away visiting a temple when the fire was started.  Rinchu then surprised his would-be assassin, killing him instead. Yoshitoshi has chosen to illustrate the moment after the violence, blood still fresh on weapons. Rinchu is turning to look at the fire, his flowing hair and beard caught by the wind, heavy snowflakes falling all around. He wears Chinese robes, as the story is set in China. This must be why the icy mountain is rather unusually structured, as the scenery of foreign landscapes that were done by his teacher Kuniyoshi always had a heightened sense of unusualness to them.

Condition: Excellent impression and color. Good/very good condition. Prints are attached and backed, and white margin at left is trimmed. Also some small hinging remnants, verso.
Dimensions: ôban vertical diptych (71.6 x 24.3 cm)
Publisher: Matsui Eikichi
Literature: Keyes 1983, p. 476, no. 492. Segi 1985, p. 72, no. 88. van den Ing & Schaap (Beauty & Violence) 1992, p. 83, no. 61. Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2012, p. 136, no. 198. Iwakiri 2014, p. 145, no. 217.
Seal: Yoshitoshi no in
Signature: Ôju Yoshitoshi ga