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Title

Contemporary tale of the three heroes

1860


Artist

Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III

Japan

1786 - 1865


About

The man in this image is the kabuki actor Kawarasaki Gonjuro (later known as Ichikawa Danjuro IX) playing Liu Bei, one of the three heroes of the Chinese novel 'Romance of the three kingdoms'. His tattoos show peonies and lions, an old design that originated in China. In legend, lions are attracted to peonies which symbolise wealth and power. The peony was also one of Gonjuro's crests. The bats on the fan, an indicator of summer, represent good luck.
The print was designed by Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), who was one of the most popular and prolific ukiyo-e artists at the end of the Edo period.


Details


Other Titles

(Tatooed man)

Contemporary tale of the three villains


Alternative title

Tôsei Sangoku-shi


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

1860


Media category

Print


Materials used

woodblock print; ink and colour on paper


Dimensions

35.0 x 24.3 cm


Signature & date

Signed c.l., in Japanese, ink [incised on block] "Toyokuni ga [picture by Toyokuni]".
Not dated.


Credit

Bequest of Kenneth Myer 1993


Location

Not on display


Accession number

598.1993


Artist information

Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III

Works in the collection

50


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography