Friday, March 15, 2013

Who painted this? #20

This week it's not a painting.  First you need to work out what it is.

Who painted this? #20
(except it's not a painting!)
I have a nice set of clues lined up for you all if there's no progress in identifying the scene and the artist.

How to participate in "Who painted this? #20"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know
Who Painted This #19 - The Answer

Not such an easy one last week - as a number of people found out.

Cats suggested as the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido
This image is repeated all over the Internet - with little or no commentary.  What is very clear is that Utagawa Kuniyoshi was a cat lover and liked drawing cats.  They are something of a sub-theme of his work.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1862) was Japanese and one of the great master painter printmakers producing woodblock prints in the ukiyo-e style during the Edo period.

I gather cats are considered to be creatures of good fortune in Japan - and that the whole nation is besotted with them.  Roger Brown tells me that not only was Kuniyoshi a cat lover he also owned 10 cats.  I'm guessing we're seeing some of them in this print!

The Tokaido Road is the road between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto.  It was was one of Five Routes linking the historical capitol of Edo to the rest of Japan.

Ando Hiroshige (see my website About Hiroshige - Famous Japanese Printmaker), another of the Masters of Ukiyo-e prints produced many different editions of a series of prints titled 'The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road' - one for each of the stations on the Tokkaodo Road. This series established him as the most successful printmaker of his time.

It seems as Kuniyoshi was having some fun with this particular print.  That's because the work is a parody.

The pose of each cat is a pun on the name of the stations on the Tokkaido Road.  You can find more explanation in this.  Plus a series of 53 images are condensed into a triptych as opposed to 53 separate images.  This site provides a detailed explanation of how each cat translates to a station and how the pun works.  I used the translator available in Google Chrome.

You can see more of Kuniyoshi's artwork on Wikipaintings and his Ukiyo-e Prints on Wikimedia Commons.

You can also read more About Japanese Art and Artists on my website of the same name.

The correct answers

It's been difficult to judge the first person to get the correct answer this week.  In the end I've gone with the first person who got all the correct answers - and that's Sandra Robinson (The Colour of Ideas).  Ruth Harris was a close second.

Others who got the answer correct were as follows (in order):

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  1. It's very quiet.... so here's the first clue

    This is a drawing of a view from inside a building which I have sketched. I'll be linking to the sketch in the answer on Friday

  2. This is a just a guess but it is making me crazy.

    It looks like a James McNeill Whistler etching.
    Since you have drawn this view, maybe London.

  3. My next clue was going to be "It isn't who you think it is!"

  4. It is not a drawing. It is either an etching or an copper engraving. But for the artist I have no clue! Looks a bit like the , in Sweden, famous etcher/ engraver Axell Fridell, who also worked in England ( London) for a while.

  5. Tomorrows' clue was going to be "It's not a drawing!"

  6. OK - it's not James Whistler but is by somebody who was making at at the same time as Whistler

    ...and it is in London, near a river.....

  7. Title: Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich
    Artist: Jacques-Joseph (James) Tissot
    Location: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
    Date: 1878
    Technique: drypoint, etching

    I knew it was a picture of the pub by the river in Greenwich as I took a photo of that Bay window last year from the opposite side, so I searched for "art greenwich bay window river" and quickly found the name of the artist and the name of the etching. Date and media were a bit harder to find.

  8. Etching by Jacques-Joseph (James) Tissot (1836-1902)

    He was a French Artist who came to London in 1871.

    Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich


    I found it by searching etchings done of London in the 19th century.

  9. I have to admit this would not leave me alone until I found the answer, and believe me there were other things I should have been doing but I felt so sure it was Whistler that when it was not, the search was on. :)
    I love the way the architecture is handled in this piece.

  10. I'm so glad somebody picked up the "Looks like Whistler - but it's not" reference. I couldn't believe it was not Whistler - and now because I like Whistler, I now like Tissot too!

    Here's a link to more paintings by Tissot

    I like this one of Ramsgate


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