Idaten is depicted here, fierce, standing on clouds. His garments blow in the breeze, and a halo showing his power and godliness encircles his head.
The deity depicted here, Idaten, is a Buddhist adaptation of Skanda, a Hindu warrior god who was the son of Shiva. According to the Sutra of Golden Light, a demon stole the Buddha’s ashes, and it was Idaten who chased him to the summit of Mount Meru to retrieve the sacred relics. Idaten is thus associated with extraordinary speed and came to be regarded as a protector of monasteries and monks, as well as warding off fire and theft. Hironari himself lived a monk-like existence in the western suburbs of Kyoto, and this work may have had personal significance for him.
Though this painting was not dated, it should be most possibly painted after Chang moved to Michigan in 1974. Perhaps it is because of the cold winter, during this time, Chang created many works on landscape of snow. This is a scene of clearing after snow.
As inscribed on the painting, a good winter snow in Chinese tradition often signifies a prosperous new year. Mountains covered by snow are often praised as jade, which is an auspicious item in Chinese culture. Similar to other paintings of snow by Chang Ku-nien, the brightened landscape implies a joyful and hopeful mood of the artist.
Yoshida Hiroshi, living during the time when the Creative Print (sôsaku hanga) movement was gaining strength in the 1920s and 1930s, was not a member of the Creative Print movement. Unlike those sôsaku hanga artists who did everything themselves, Yoshida Hiroshi had carvers and printers produce his prints. Yet, unlike the traditional Ukiyo-e artists, he assumed the supreme authority over the production process, supervising the carvers and painters.
With his training in Western-style painting with oil, Yoshida Hiroshi had incorporated such skills into his woodblock printing and created unprecedented and original prints of the time. Landscape was a major theme of his works; he depicted not only scenes of Japan but also those of abroad. This print might have been from his United State series.
The scene shows a group of buildings with white colored rooftops. Two buildings rise up in the foreground on the right and left. The right building has a red side with vertical lines hashed into it. The left building has two white triangles on its roof. In the middle ground is a smaller building with a green-domed tower rising up the middle of the composition. A small red figure stands on the white ground to the right of this tower. The background shows the large white rooftop of another building, with small dark rooflines of buildings visible behind it.
This woodblock print shows a city scene of Boston in the snow.
Landscape with blue cloudy sky, green leaved trees and grass below. Two women in the clearing, one standing, one seated. Across from them is a brown cow in the lower left. There is a dense forest on the right and left edge and in the background along the bottom half of the image.
Pastoral setting with a cow walking in front of people among trees and grassy area.
The top of a mountain with trees on top and a very cloudy sky. The top of the mountain appears to be much lighter than the rest of the darker mountain. On the left hand side of the upper portion of mountain there appears to be a mowed section of grass.
A woman dressed in a rose-colored robe with a blue mantle and flowing white veil stands on a silver crescent moon among a bank of dark clouds. A halo of stars encircles her head. She clasps both hands before her. The heads of two putti peak out from beneath her mantle next to her left hip. Her right foot treads upon a long serpent that curves back upon itself with an open mouth.
This exquisite painting shows the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in which she is raised body and soul to heaven upon the moment of her death. For devout Catholics of the period the event was an important promise of the resurrection of all humanity that would come at the end of time. The stars around her head and moon under her feet presage this resurrection, as these details are derived from the figure of the “woman clothed with the sun” described in the apocalyptic Book of Revelation from the Bible. The raising of the Virgin to heaven before the apocalypse also signals her privileged position in Catholic belief as the Queen of Heaven who would intercede with Christ for mercy on behalf of sinners. This painting evokes such keenly felt faith in the Virgin through its small size, which indicates that it was destined as an object for guiding personal prayers.
Saints below surrounding a stone pedestal with the inscription "Non est hic. Mat 28", with the Virgin Mary above in the clouds with arms spread out surrounded by smaller angels. At the bottom edge of the print is engraved (left) "Callot fecit" and (center right) "Israel ex. cum priuil. Reg.".
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary signifies the taking up of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, into heaven.
Gray silk crepe (repp weave) shot through with metallic threads, with silk and metallic thread embroidered design of figures doing the suzume odori (crow dance) in the rain (suzume odori). Lining is plain weave silk, white above and gray below.
The suzume odori (sparrow dance) is said to have first been performed by stonemasons building Sendai castle for daimyo Date Masamune. The Date family crest is composed of two sparrows, and the dance is said to have mimicked the movements of the bird.