Preparatory drawing for a fan with a scene from the Tale of Shuten Doji

Maker(s)
Artist: Kawanabe Kyōsai 河鍋暁斎 (1831-1889)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1831-1889
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (image): 19 x 47.7 cm (7 1/2 x 18 3/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1969.46
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), fan, Japan, Shuten Doji, Tale of Shuten Doji, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The Tale of Shuten Doji has long been popular in Japan; the earliest-known illustrated version of this tale dates to the fourteenth century. Minamoto no Yorimitsu (948-1021), a historical figure of great martial prowess, was transformed in popular literature into a legendary hero who rescued the realm from demonic forces. Shuten Doji, a monster who lived southwest of Kyoto, terrorized the population, dining on locals and holding young maidens captive. With divine assistance and various means of subterfuge, Yorimitsu beheaded the ogre and returned the region to tranquility.

Kyosai's interest in the narrative format and his careful connoisseurship of ancient works of art are evident in his paintings and sketchbooks. Riddled with macabre humor and images of the grotesque, his own paintings catered to the tastes of late Edo (1615-1868) and early Meiji (1868-1912) audiences.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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