spider against black ground over center of flower

%C2%A9 Tanaka Ry%C5%8Dhei

Chrysanthemum, 1969


A single spider-like insect lowers itself towards a flowering chrysanthemum. Viewed up close, the dense formation of the petals, each painstakingly shaded with dots, begin to look like a mass of small beings, all huddling together.

Tanaka’s mysterious etchings attracted admirers in Japan and abroad. In 1986, his prints were once again included as illustrations to accompany Japanese fiction, this time a collection of stories titled A Late Chrysanthemum: Twenty-one Stories From the Japanese, edited and translated by Lane Dunlop. This print appears alongside the title story, “Late Chrysanthemum (Bangiku)” by Fumiko Hayashi from 1948, which tells of an ex-geisha who meets a former lover. Tanaka’s detailed monochrome etchings redolent of old Japan made them perfect accompaniments to translations of Japanese texts.

Artist Life
1933 - 2019
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
"Tanaka Ryōhei, catalog raisonné, 1963-1990," #57
Curator Approved

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spider against black ground over center of flower

© Tanaka Ryōhei

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