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Niō Guardian (Red)

Japanese Color Stencil Print 

Niō Guardian (Red)

by Mori Yoshitoshi, 1960

[donated to the Portland Art Museum]
Toy Horse

IHL Cat. #1682

About This Print

One of two very large fierce temple guardian prints created by Mori in 1960.  This collection's print is marked "E.A." (Epreuve D'Artiste) by Mori's hand.  It differs both from a set of five artist proofs shown below which are marked "A.P. 1/V" and the final prints which were issued in an edition of fifty, also shown below.  Mori joined two sheets of paper to achieve this print's overall size of approximately 44 x 33 inches. Both of the Niō Guardian prints were shown at the 1965 1st Japan Art Festival held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 

Two Niō Guardians (Benevolent or Deva Kings), one with mouth open and one with mouth closed, are often seen at the entrance of Buddhist temples. Their fierce and threatening appearance is said to ward off evil spirits and keep the temple grounds free of demons and thieves. As the two complement each other, I am on the lookout for his closed mouth blue companion.

Catalog numbers 75 and 76 from Mori Yoshitoshi Kappa-Ban, a catalog from the 1985 exhibition of the same name. 
While the catalog indicates that the above prints are from an edition of 50, the two prints shown in the catalog are marked
"A.P. 1/V" as shown in the detail below.

The prints as issued in an edition of fifty prints.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog #1682
 Title Niō Guardian (Red) 仁王(赤) also seen titled as Deva King (Red)
 Mori Yoshitoshi (1898-1992)
Yoshitoshi Mori (in graphite)
 Seal of Artist
 Date 1960
E. A. (Epreuve D'Artiste) in lower left corner
 Printer the artist
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 H x W Paper 43 3/4 x 33 1/8 in. (111.1 x 84.1 cm)
 H x W Image 
 Collections This Print The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P00637
 Reference Literature Mori Yoshitoshi Kappa-Ban, Abe Setsuko, et. al., Organizing Committee for the Mori Yoshitoshi Exhibition on 1st January, 1985, 1985, Cat. No. 76, p. 53.