Yoshitoshi: Shirai Gonpachi

Yoshitoshi: Shirai Gonpachi (Sold)

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Shirai Gonpachi
Date: 1860

Scene from the kabuki play Gonjô, or perhaps the play “Ume tabiji gojusan eki” (53 Stages of the Plum-tree Journey”. Yoshitoshi has set himself apart in his willingness to depict gruesome and explicit gore in this early work, published when the artist was only 21. Depicted is the suicide of Shirai Gonpachi, which has taken place in the middle of the Sumida River, the police surrounding him on the riverbank. Dusk is falling. Rare. Yoshitoshi apparently published 5 diptychs in 1860, all of them very rare.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Some rubbing lower left corner of left sheet.
Dimensions: ôban diptych
Publisher: Kadokin
Literature: See “Beauty & Violence”, illustration 4, page 97. Apparently unlisted in Keyes.
Signature: Gyokuô Yoshitoshi ga