Utagawa Yoshitora, ‘Balloon Ascension in America’, 1867, Japan Society Benefit Auction 2017

Size is per panel - 3 panels framed together. Courtesy of Mita Arts Gallery Co., Ltd.

The oldest student of renowned ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Utagawa Yoshitora was a prolific woodblock print designer, especially known for his designs of foreigners—a genre of print known as Yokohama-e, named for Yokohama port which opened to the West in 1859. This Yokohama-e tryptich depicts a view of a balloon ascension, popular as a means of transportation at that time in U.S. Since Yoshitora would not have been present for this event, the scene seems to have been produced by from his imagination, as well as a copper print brought from the U.S. as reference.
Courtesy of Japan Society

About Utagawa Yoshitora

Japanese, active about 1850-1880