Yoshitoshi: Shima Sakon and Severed Head (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Shima Sakon and the severed head of Saito Daihachi at 洞ヶ峠
Series: Essays by Yoshitoshi (Ikkai zuihitsu)
Date: 1872

Hand and sword covered in blood, Shima Sakon lofts the severed head of Saitô Daihachi into the air at Horagatoge Pass. The burning logs in the background have created a backdrop of smoke in which the pink lead pigment has oxidized into a smoky grey, as intended. Note the strong woodgrain in the smoke and ground. Shima Sakon is best known for leading a squadron of soldiers in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, but this work is set at night at Horaga-toge Pass, which forms the boundary between Kyoto and Osaka and was the setting for a chapter of the Battle of Yamazaki in 1582. This terrific series features unusually strong compositions that are not cluttered with large texts and are each innovative in their own way. Roger Keyes noted the account of Yamanaka Kodo, who said that Yoshitoshi became depressed when this series was not considered a success at the time. This is probably why the series is rather scarce, as relatively few were printed.

Condition: Excellent impression and color, very good condition. Fold in left margin.
Dimensions: ôban (35 x 23.8 cm)
Publisher: Masadaya
Literature: See Beauty & Violence, series 23. Roger Keyes (1983), page 396, number 280.11.
Signature: Ikkeisai Yoshitoshi hitsu