Huang Zhong, One of the Five Tiger Generals, from the series Five Colorful Banners

Artist: Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1786-1865)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1835-1838
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 52 x 23.8 cm (20 1/2 x 9 3/8 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, bow, Edo period (1615 - 1868), horse, Japan, nagaban, ukiyo-e, warrior
Provenance research underway.

This print represents another of Kunisada's few warrior print designs. Series of beautiful women and especially of actors and kabuki performances were the major subjects for this prolific artist. Huang Zhong is a hero of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Chinese, Sanguo zhi yanyi; Japanese, Sangoku engi), a Chinese historical romance that was popular in the late Edo period. He is one of five generals who distinguished themselves in the period from 184 to 280, which witnessed the collapse of the Han dynasty and the division of China into three rival kingdoms. Huang Zhong served Liu Bei (d. 223), founder of the Shu Han dynasty (221-63). Kunisada's seal, "Hanabusa Ittai," links the artist to followers of the painter Hanabusa Itcho (1652-1724), whose work might have inspired Kunisada's designs for this series and a companion set of Japanese heroes not included in this collection.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 79, pp. 212-213.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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