- Provenance information is currently unavailable
Kunisada responded to the success of Kuniyoshi's first series based on The Water Margin with prints devoted to the Chinese heroes of the historical romance The Military Tales of Han and Chu (Chinese, Han-Chu juntan; Japanese, Kan-So gundan), which includes tales of the founding of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.). This print illustrates one of the tales that helped establish the legitimacy of the reign of the first emperor of the Han dynasty, Gaozu (Japanese, Koso), who had risen from commoner origins. Here he kills a snake, which is later revealed to have been a form assumed by the son of the White Emperor. Gaozu learns that the killer of the snake is known as the Red Emperor, a sign that he will succeed, since according to Chinese cosmology, red succeeds white, the color associated with the previous Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.E.).
- Published References
- Sebastian Izzard Asian Art LLC, J. Thomas Rimer, John T. Carpenter. Kunisada's World: An exhibition held at the Japan Society Gallery, New York, September 30 - November 14, 1993. Exh. cat. New York. pp. 106-7.
- Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 73, pp. 198-201.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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