Taira no Kiyomori's Spectral Vision

Artist:
Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo))
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1845
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
15 x 29 in. (38.1 x 73.7 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
JP2540a–c
Not on view
The hubris embodied in the figure of Taira no Kiyomori (1118–1181) looms large in many medieval warrior tales. The death, conflict, and fiery destruction caused by his ambitions in the Hōgen and Heiji civil wars are ultimately resolved by his own horrifying death by fever during the Genpei War of 1180–85. Hiroshige depicted him as haunted, but uncowed, by his past deeds, surrounded by eerie skull forms in a snowy garden.
Signature: A: Hiroshige ga; Red lozenge seal: Hi–ro
B: No signature
C: Ichiryusai Hiroshige; Red lozenge seal: Hi–ro
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Snow in Ukiyo-e Prints and Paintings," October 20, 2004–November 26, 2005.