Kuniyoshi, Horio Yoshiharu Wrestling a Giant Boar

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) Horio Yoshiharu Wrestling a Giant Boar, 1847-1850. Oban Triptych.

Here we see the sixteenth century hero Horio Yoshiharu at the edge of a forest wrestling a giant boar, watched by his retainers from the trees in the right hand panel. This print is a fine example of a musha-e or warrior print, a genre that Kuniyoshi came to dominate by the mid-nineteenth century. It depicts  Horio Yoshiharu (1542-1611) a celebrated warrior and leader of the Matsue Clan. This a fine triptych and a great example of the genre.

The movement, the gaze of the print, is all directed to the lower part of the left sheet where the boar has been thrown into the river and collapses, unfeasibly into the corner. Yoshiharu’s retainers look impassively from the trees at right, their gaze passing through the central figure of Yoshiharu who remains transfixed, his hand thrust outwards, his face set. Kuniyoshi paints the landscape and the arrangement of figures like a stage set, the layers of landscape receding in ranks of painted flats. A rare and sought after print.

The colour is fine, impression very good with visible woodgrain. Three oban sheets not attached  at the seams. Full size.

Signed Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi with kiri seal.

76 x 33 cm.