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Yoshiiku (1833 - 1904)

Leopards in the Roles of Matsuomaru and Genba

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: 1860
Size (H x W): 14.25 x 10 (inches)
Publisher: Ebiya Rinnosuke
Seals: Combined aratame and date seal
Signature: Yoshiiku ga
Condition: Good color, very good impression, light soiling and wear, repaired binding holes and wormage near left edge.

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A parody of the play "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Sugawara's Secrets of Calligraphy)" performed by leopards.

About the artist

Yoshiiku was a popular ukiyo-e printmaker during the Meiji period. It is thought that he was the son of a tea house proprietor, hence his particular skill success in the portrayal of various beauties from teahouses and restaurants. Yet, he was an artist comfortable across subject matter and is recognized for his fierce portrayal of famous historical warriors. Yoshiiku was a student of Kuniyoshi and a contemporary rival of the famed Yoshitoshi. He signed his name Utagawa Yoshiiku, Ikkeisai Yoshiiku and Chokaro Yoshiiku. Beyond ukiyo-e, the woodblock printing process was used for newspaper illustrations before the introduction of photography. He worked as an illustrator for both the Tokyo Daily News and the Tokyo Illustrated News. Yoshiiku's prints can be found in the Brooklyn Museum, The Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.