Yoshitsuya (1822-1866)

Horibe Yahei Kanemaru

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Yoshitsuya (1822-1866)
Horibe Yahei Kanemaru
The 47 Loyal Retainers
Woodblock Print
c. 1850
8" x 6"
Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga
Very good color, impression and state, soiling bottom left corner and on margins


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Yoshimura and Muramatsu

About the artist

A 19th-century ukiyo-e printmaker and illustrator, Yoshitsuya 芳艶 was a pupil of Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Growing up during the late Edo period, Yoshitsuya experienced the sharp decline of the political stability that defined the early Edo period. As the 1840s brought famine and economic despair, the Shogunate introduced the Tenpo Reforms (1841-1842). These edicts banned the depiction of actors and courtesans in ukiyo-e in an effort to remove the "luxury" from printmaking. Unhindered by these restrictions, Yoshitsuya's work focuses mainly on triumphant warriors of Japanese history and legend. Some of his noted series include 54 Battle Stories by Hideyoshi, presenting 54 scenes of Japan's 16th-century unifier, and The Scenic Places of Tokaido, which he completed with a range of top artists and publishers of his time. Today, his works can be found in esteemed collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum.

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