left scroll of a pair; three men (clockwise from top center): Japanese man wearing partial suit of armor and helmet, seated on floor, holding a black fan and wearing a garment on his upper body with green sleeves; Asian man in LRC wearing a bright blue robe with white organic medallions and white belt, black cloth wrapped around his hair and white headband, holding a folded white fan and seated on floor; European man with red hair and thick red beard at left wearing a long red uniform jacket with brass buttons and epaulettes, and white baggy pants, seated in an orange chair; four bold lines of text in black at top around figures; large square red seal above PR shoulder of European man

Great Generals of the East and West, c. 1874

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One of the largest paintings by Yoshitoshi, this is also one of the most mysterious. The six people from right to left are the warlord and unifier of Japan Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598), as a child with dog; the first shogun of the Edo period (1603–1868), Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616); the first president of the United States, George Washington (1732–1799), as a drummer boy during the American Civil War; the feudal lord Mōri Motonari (1497–1571); Date Masamune (1579–1636), the Lord of Sendai; and the emperor of France Napoleon III (1808–1873). The signature indicates that this painting was commissioned, and the signature style puts the date at around 1874. Napoleon III’s death in 1873 might have been the stimulus. But the meaning of this painting, including such puzzling elements as the boiling kettle, remains unclear. Yoshitoshi’s humongous seal on the left includes a line from the “Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup,” a poem attributed to the Chinese poet Du Fu (712–770): his brush produces cloud and mist (Chin. huihao luo zhi ru yunyan).

Details
Title
Great Generals of the East and West
Artist Life
1839 - 1892
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.114.3.1
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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left scroll of a pair; three men (clockwise from top center): Japanese man wearing partial suit of armor and helmet, seated on floor, holding a black fan and wearing a garment on his upper body with green sleeves; Asian man in LRC wearing a bright blue robe with white organic medallions and white belt, black cloth wrapped around his hair and white headband, holding a folded white fan and seated on floor; European man with red hair and thick red beard at left wearing a long red uniform jacket with brass buttons and epaulettes, and white baggy pants, seated in an orange chair; four bold lines of text in black at top around figures; large square red seal above PR shoulder of European man