Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), Flute Player Triptych (Fujiwara Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight), 1883, woodblock print
Masterworks by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints
Online exhibition beginning March 16th
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was the last of the great 19th century ukiyo-e artists, known for his early works of explicit gore, as well as for his mature works of transcendence and pathos. A consummate draftsman, he developed a unique style of representation and narrative expression after first closely adhering to the manner of his teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi. A master at portraying complex narratives, he could illustrate a scene at both the moment of poignant reflection, as well as at the explosive moment of dramatic intensity. Egenolf Gallery is pleased to offer a number of his most famous triptychs, including the Flute Player Triptych (Fujiwara Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight), widely considered his masterpiece.
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kusunoki Masatsura at the Battle of Shionawate, 1886, woodblock print
Yoshitoshi’s work presaged aspects of our modern world, as he lived through the tumultuous events of the Meiji Period in the 19th century. He took the personal experience of witnessing a battle during the Japanese civil war and used this to portray works of wrenching emotional power. His work also reflected his own temperament, which was subject to extremes as well as bouts of serious mental illness. Japan itself was undergoing unprecedented change in its rush towards modernization, and many of the touchstones of Japanese life were being swept away. Yoshitoshi’s work reflects both his own sympathies with the vanishing samurai class, as well as a deep respect for the cultural traditions of Japan, which were fast disappearing in intensity.
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