Item description for Heroes of the Grand Pacification: Kuniyoshi's Taiheiki eiyuden by Elena Varshavskaya...
The book introduces the print-series Taiheiki eiyu den or Heroic Biographies from the 'Tale of Grand Pacification', designed by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), who is considered the founder of the heroic genre in Japanese prints. The series is devoted to the final years of the sixteenth century civil wars and the key figure of the day, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536?-98). All fifty prints of the series are reproduced in full colour. Each print is accompanied by a translation of the extensive texts incorporated into the composition and detailed historical and cultural commentaries. The introductory essay reviews the peculiarities of Kuniyoshi's warrior images, explores the roots of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's popularity and discusses the texts in the prints as a source of information on the late medieval warriors' outlook and battlefield practices.
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Elena Varshavskaya holds an MA in philology from the Herzen Pedagogical University, St. Petersburg, Russia and a Ph.D. in art history and theory from the State Academy of Arts, Moscow, Russia. For most her career, Varshavskaya has worked as a researcher and lecturer in Far Eastern Arts at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her recent research focuses on the reflection of late sixteenth-century Japanese history in Kuniyoshi's woodblock prints. She currently resides in the USA where she teaches art history at the Rhode Island School of Design.