Original Kunisada III (1848 - 1920) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Earth Spider, 1887
Comments - Fantastic kabuki scene from the story of the earth or ground spider, one of the most famous Japanese folktales. The great warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu, known as Raiko, fell ill with a fever and dreamed of an earth spider preparing to cast a web over him. He struck at it with his sword and immediately recovered from his fever, chasing the ground spider to its lair and killing it with the aid of his retainers. Here the spirit of the ground spider takes center stage, throwing one hand up into the air, a large spider web radiating from behind his head. His distinctive stage makeup and flowing black hair give him an imposing, mysterious appearance. At right, Raiko raises his sword to slash at the creature, as his four loyal retainers prepare to come to his aid. A terrific image detailed with fine line work in the hair and touches of burnishing.
Artist - Kunisada III (1848 - 1920)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 27 1/2" + margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few small losses at edges and holes, a couple tears, repaired. Creasing, slight toning. Please see photos for details.