The majority of this print depicts a deep architectural setting. In front of the buildings a wedding procession takes place. Rats, in daimyo fashion, are celebrating.
The Rat’s Wedding is a fable known across much of Asia, including Japan, in which a young rat female comes of age. Her parents decide to wed her to the most powerful being in the world, and ask the sun to marry her. Although honored by their request, the sun tells them that clouds are stronger than he, blocking his rays. They make their proposal to a cloud, who directs them to the wind, and the wind bows to the strength of the wall. The wall explains that the strongest force in the world is a rat, able to make holes in his frame. The rat maiden is finally wed to a rat, and the jubilant procession is depicted here.
A heavily inked, multi-layered multi-media image with tinges of color. On the left hand side of image, an older gentleman in turban and beard can be made out. The background is dark inks and washes, bleeding into man's figure. Bottom edge of paper carries inscriptions from Kubin (handwriting matches other samples).
A heavily inked, at times abstract image. On the left can be seen the figure of a turbaned, bearded older man.
A woman, nude but for a diaphanous elbow-length drapery and a cap over her hair, stands facing the viewer with her head turned towards the right. The figure's right arm is extended gracefully from the side of her body, hand facing downward. Her left hand is extened at nearly a right angle, holding her drapery out, which further devines the curves of her body. Her weight is on her right leg as the left leg points forward.
Draped figures such as this occupied Whistler from the 1860s onward, but with particular focus during the early/mid 1890s. Usually these figures are posed standing; the implied movement of this figure is somewhat unusual.
This black and white print depicts a portrait of a seated man holding a sword in one hand and what appears to be a book in the other. The figure wears a black jacket and a white cravat. The figure’s expression is stern and his gaze meets the viewer’s directly. His hair is white and pulled back into a queue.
Small, carved male figure, seated atop a block, with legs crossed. The naturalism with which the expressive face is carved, the high crested coiffure (or chiefly cap?) and the progressive foreshortening of the body show the importance given to the head in Yombe aesthetics. The figure's eyes are mirrored glass, and the upper body, face and head are studded with brass tacks. A slight vertical crack can be seen at the figure's sternum.
The Yombe figure was identified for UMMA by Allen Roberts and Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts. There was a discrepency regarding the dating of the piece: the export paperwork said "circa 1830", but the dealer's catalogue said early 19th c. When asked to help resolve the dating, Polly Nooter Roberts replied: "As for the Yombe figure, I can tell you with certainty that it is NOT early 20th century, and is definitely from the 19th century, if not earlier. I cannot confirm the 1830 date, but I would be more inclined to believe that than the early 20th century. So, I think you can confidently say 19th century, and perhaps you can go ahead and use the paperwork that says 1830 since that was supplied with it." See e-mail to Carole McNamara, 1/12/00.
This figure is an idealized representation of an honored ancestor. Though separated by death, ancestors in Yombe culture remain an active part of the living world. Figures such as this were displayed in shrines to commemorate important individuals and to seek their protection, intercession and good will.
A sketch drawing of four men, identified as soldiers. On the bottom left a solider appears to be studying a large document. The rest of the drawing is composed of other soldiers reclining and kneeling within the space of the paper.
The upper portion of this print depicts an ornate round frame inside of which is a three quarter portrait of a man from the waist up with his left hand held to his head. The lower portion of the print depicts the base on which the frame rests decorated with a classical scene of figures in a landscape. A collection of objects including books, a mask, a crown, a tambourine and sheet music rest atop the base.