Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tengu are the crow-headed humanoids often seen in heroic japanese prints. Melinda, a new baren contributer is suggesting Tengu, or other monsters as an Exchange theme. I think it is a great idea! Read more about Tengu here: Wikipedia. Click on the thumbnail to see the Tengu up close!
This print, with a gaggle of Tengu, is described by Eric van den Ing who runs an internet site selling Japanese prints: Saru Gallery. Eric is also co-author of Beauty and Violence, the classic text on Yoshitoshi:
"The Chinese novel Shuihu zhuan (The Water Margin), known in Japanese as Suikoden, tells of the legendary exploits of a group of Chinese brigands during the Northern Song dynasty (1101-26). It was retold in a popular Japanese novel illustrated by Hokusai, and was the subject of Kuniyoshi's first set of warrior prints in 1827. Although the anti-establishment heroes of the original were very popular, in this set Yoshitoshi departed from the novel and made his own selection of Japanese heroes from history and legend. The series was published at an interesting point in Yoshitoshi’s career. Five years earlier, in 1861, his teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, had died, and this series is evidence of his powers as an independent artist. Kuniyoshi’s influence can still be seen, but on the other hand many designs already point to his future greatness. The chûban (“half-size”) prints were printed two to a sheet and then cut."