Sketchbook with 99 dramatic & highly finished hand-drawn studies by the artist. Toshinobu YAMAZAKI, artist.
Sketchbook with 99 dramatic & highly finished hand-drawn studies by the artist.
Sketchbook with 99 dramatic & highly finished hand-drawn studies by the artist.
Sketchbook with 99 dramatic & highly finished hand-drawn studies by the artist.
Sketchbook with 99 dramatic & highly finished hand-drawn studies by the artist.

An Album of 99 Fine Drawings by Toshinobu Yamazaki

Sketchbook with 99 dramatic & highly finished hand-drawn studies by the artist.

24 folding leaves, and one blank leaf at beginning & end. Large 8vo (260 x 185 mm.), orig. brown wrappers (extremities a trifle worn), label on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan: ca. 1885].

A delightful album containing 99 exquisite studies by Toshinobu Yamazaki (1857-86), the precocious printmaker and illustrator of books and newspapers, as well as an obstreperous disciple of the great Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-92). Accounts vary on much of Yamazaki’s life, but scholars agree that he grew up in Edo and first studied under Utagawa Kunisada. At the age of 13, he began to train under the tutelage of Yoshitoshi, who recognized his talents and permitted him to incorporate Yoshitoshi’s name into his own. Yamazaki’s alleged theft of some of his master’s drawings precipitated a move to Osaka, where he created illustrations for novels, including several by Udagawa Bunkai (1848-1930). Around 1880, Yamazaki fell victim to alcoholism, and his output plummeted. His final years were spent in Kyoto primarily as a newspaper illustrator; he died of meningitis at the age of 29.

A number of the studies in this album bear an alternative signature employed by Yamazaki: Oju Toshinobu. This signature integrates Yoshitoshi’s kanji characters, indicating Yamazaki’s status as one of Yoshitoshi’s favored students. All of the drawings are done by Yamazaki; several illustrations seem to be after some of Yoshitoshi’s renderings. In Yamazaki’s original studies, the influence of Yoshitoshi’s graphic and theatrical style is evident throughout. Most of the images in the present volume depict dynamic action scenes (murders, assaults, arguments, etc.); however, in a few examples, Yamazaki delves into intimate shunga illustrations.

The study on the bottom of the tenth leaf was published in a novel about the influential political theorist Ryoma Sakamoto (1836-67), entitled Kanketsu senri no koma (ca. 1885).

In fine condition, sporadic spotting.

❧ For other works by Yamazaki, see the web-pages of the British Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Price: $7,500.00

Item ID: 6776