While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.
Heroes and Heroines in the Tale of Heike - Writing on a Cherry Tree CHT21 $175
print measures approximately 13 1/2 inches by 9 1/4 inches
Toyohara Chikanobu (Yoshu Chikanobu) 1838-1912 lived through a tumultuous time in Japanese history. In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy sailed into Tokyo Harbor and threatened to fire on the city if Japan did not agree to open up trade to the West.
Chikanobu showed early artistic abilities, and was for a time a student of the great ukiyo-e artists Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Kunichika. Diverting from art, he became a famous Samurai, noted for his bravery, fighting the Battles of Ueno & Hakidate. Following the collapse of the pro-isolations forces and his subsequent imprisonment, he decided to make a living as an artist.
His prints capture the transition of Japan from the era of the samurai and isolationism to the Meiji period of modernity. As a ukiyo-e artist, he produced a wide range of work, from illustrations of the samurai warriors and battlefields to Japanese mythology and the history of fashion & beautiful women. His use of colour is remarkable, a portent of the palette of the impressionists.
While perhaps under appreciated, he is beginning to be recognized as an important artist of the Meiji period. In 2007 a definitive work was published by Hotei Chikanobu-Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese prints by Bruce Arthur Coats. In 2011 the Morikami Museum of Delray Beach staged an exhibit Modernity and Nostalgia: Woodblock Prints by Toyohara (Yoshu) Chikanobu.
We are pleased to offer sheets from the series, Heroes and Heroines in The Tale of Heike, 1898. Each original wood block print measures approximately 13 1/2 inches by 9 1/4 inches, with the two panels of the original diptych joined and with the original backing as published album style in the Meiji period in.
The colours are spectacular with silver enhancement and gum arabic. We have shown all the prints we have in this series because of their beauty even though some have minor offsetting, and on a few, some print loss to the original center fold. The images show this very accurately. The colouring, composition and subject matter is entrancing.
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