- Museum number
Object: Dai jugo dai Jingu Kogo 第十五代神功皇后 (Empress Jingu Kogo, Fifteenth Sovereign)
Series: Dai Nippon shi ryaku zue 大日本史略図絵 (Concise Illustrated History of Japan)
Sketch for a woodblock print triptych, ink on paper. Empress Jingu Kogo landing on the shore of Korea. With pentimenti.
- Production date
Height: 35 centimetres
Width: 73.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
One of 52 preparatory sketches for woodblock prints or paintings, originally mounted in album. Album and 52 sketches registered as 1990,0614,0.1.1-53.
[No. 4] The scene features Empress Jingû, a legendary regent of Japan of the late fourth to early fifth century, who is said to have led an invasion of Korea. She is seen here about to carve with her bow on the rock-face the belligerent declaration, 'The emperor of Korea is my dog'. Many Japanese of the Meiji era adopted Western dress, and Jingu's costume appears to feature a bustle, although these were not introduced to the imperial court until the 1880s. The finished print is no. 15 in the series Dai-Nippon shi ryaku zue ('Concise Illustrated History of Great Japan'), issued in April 1879.
Among the group of fifty-two preparatory drawings by Yoshitoshi (1839-92), originally pasted into one album, this falls into the subject category of valiant emperors and historical figures loyal to the imperial cause. The emperor had been newly 'restored' to power in 1868, and works were being produced as propaganda for the imperial institution. Yoshitoshi's prints can also be seen as a precursor to the flourishing of history painting of the later Meiji era (1868-1912), which Japanese artists knew was regarded as the highest form of painting in the West.
The basic outlines of the drawings were done in pale red ink, which was overlaid with black as the lines took a more definite shape. Where alterations were needed paper was pasted over. The collection of drawings fully demonstrates the force and emotive power of Yoshitoshi's art, and allow a glimpse into the fascinating process of his artistic creativity over a period of more than a decade.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2018-2019 17 Oct -19 Jan, Paris, Musée Guimet, Meiji exhibition
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.943 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)