Tsukioka Yoshitoshi "The Story of Tamiya Botaro"
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's series of diptychs, "New Selection of Eastern Brocade Pictures," is another fine example of the artist's incredible abilities as a visual storyteller. Produced between 1885-1899 in 23 separate designs, the prints weave together complex tales popular in Japan into a visual medium (i.e. as a "brocade"). The woodblock prints are exquisite, detailed, and complex, archetypes for Meiji-era woodblock prints, and perfectly captures Yoshitoshi at peak artistic form.
In this design, Tamiya Botaro, shown seated on the right, watches his caretaker Otsuji drawing water from a well. Orphaned as a young child following his father's murder, Botaro is raised by Otsuji and trained to be a master swordsman by a tengu. At seventeen years old, Botaro avenges his father's murderer and Otsuji fulfills her vow to help the young boy in his plot for revenge. Otsuji, shown exerting immense strength, is the focal point for this design, while the lotus flowers and pumpkin blossoms serves as a beautiful backdrop.
Series: New Selection of Eastern Brocade Pictures
Format: Oban Diptych (each sheet approx. 9" x 14")
Publisher: Tsunashima Kamekichi (later impression)
Condition: Light toning, foxing on left sheet; otherwise excellent
Shown matted 22" x 30". Framing available for local pickup only. Please contact us for details and pricing.
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was a master painter and woodblock print artist whose works have made an indelible mark on Japanese art and design to this day. His most famous series, "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon," comprise some of Yoshitoshi's best known designs.