Acrylic on canvas
Contemporary interpretation of “Wakashima Gonemon Swimming Underwater” by Taiso Yoshitoshi. Signed and dated in front lower right corner by artist E. Butler. Currently unframed, but options are available.
The original image is from a series of ukiyo-e woodblock prints titled "Tales of the Floating World on Eastern Brocade (Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kôdan)" by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi published from 1867-8 by Masudaya Ginjiro. In this series, popular stories (kôdari) of drama and violence from various sources were retold by Kanagaki Rôbun, whose text appears in the top right corner of the composition. Wakashima Gonemon dives into a whirlpool to retrieve an ancient dragon-headed bell at the bottom of the Sumida river. According to the text in the piece, the Water (or Dragon) God was unwilling to part with the old bell, the rope broke and the bell is still there at the bottom of the river; hence the origin of the term Kanegafuchi (bell deep).
H 59.88 in x W 42 in x D 1 in