N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1864
Condition: very good
Size: 24 x 35,5 cm



Rare polychrome woodblock print by Utagawa Yoshitsuya (歌川芳艶), a pupil of Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳) who followed in the footsteps of the master becoming famous for his fine works of the musha-e (武者絵) type, that is “warrior images”. At the center of the scene we see the samurai Takuma Genba no Kami (宅間玄蕃頭), fictional name of the historical character Sakuma Morimasa (佐久間盛政) who, having fallen victim to an ambush, fights vigorously before being captured and beheaded.

The print is taken from the “Fifty-four Battle Scenes from the Story of Hisago” (瓢軍談五十四場), the successful series of the artist who depicted the events of the battles fought by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉), the famous daimyo of the Sengoku period (戦国時代), the second of the three “great unifiers” (三英傑) of Japan.

The work, entitled “The Ambush by Hisayoshi” (久吉の伏兵), was made in 1864 by the publisher Tsutaya Kichizo Koeido (蔦屋吉蔵紅英堂) and, despite the right signs of aging including a small wormhole on the left margin, is in very good general condition thanks also to an effective relining carried out on the back.