The Great Battle of the Vegetables and the Fish (Aomono sakana gunzei ô-kassen no zu)

「青物魚軍勢大合戦之図」

Japanese
Edo period
1859 (Ansei 6), 10th month
Artist Utagawa Hirokage (Japanese, active 1855–1865)


Catalogue Raisonné

Ôta Mem. Mus., Edo yôkai dai zukan (2014), #83; Haubner, Die Macht des Bogens (2014), p. 205; Ôta Mem. Mus., Warau ukiyo-e (2013), #57; Konishi, Nishiki-e Bakumatsu Meiji no rekishi 1 (1977), pp. 76-7

Dimensions

Vertical ôban triptych; 36.1 x 74.5 cm (14 3/16 x 29 5/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.22770a-c

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

MFA impressions: 11.22770a-c, 11.22771a-c

According to Konishi, the subject refers to the cholera epidemic of 1858. To avoid the disease, it was considered safer to eat vegetables rather than fish.

Signed

Hirokage ga (on each sheet)
広景画

Markings

Censor's seal: Goat 10 aratame
No blockcutter's mark
改印:未十改
彫師:なし

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection