Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Oyamada Bitchu no Kami Masatatsu, Courageous Generals

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861)
Title: Oyamada Bitchu no Kami Masatatsu
Series title: Stories of Courageous Generals of the Provinces of Echigo and Kai
Publisher: Sumiyoshi-ya Masagoro
Date: c. 1848-1849
Size: 36.4 x 25 cm
Condition: Backed, wear and soiling, creases, slightly discoloured.
Provenance: B.W. Robinson Collection

The warriors and heroes Kuniyoshi continuously designed were extremely popular and gained the artist the nickname of 'Kuniyoshi of Warrior Print'. Massive muscles and stern expressions were characteristic to his warriors, lending them a powerful and strong look. As there was no major military conflict in Japan for decades around Edo time, Kuniyoshi’s heroic fighters enjoyed extreme popularity. The commercial success of his warriors gave Kuniyoshi the freedom to explore other subjects of ukiyo-e, such as animals, birds, flowers, beautiful women, actors, ghosts and others.

This series is based on a series of battles that happened in the 16th century Japan and key figures that fought in the wars. The battles were between the forces of Takeda Shingen and the forces of Uesugi Kenshin were fought on the plain of Kawanakajima in the northern Shinano Province near the modern-day city of Nagano.

More Information
Print Format Oban (Vertical)
Artist Name Kuniyoshi Utagawa
Title Oyamada Bitchu no Kami Masatatsu
Subject Samurai & Male
Dimensions 36.4 x 25 cm
Condition Report Backed, wear and soiling, creases, slightly discoloured.