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Second from a pentaptych of woodblock prints; ink and color on paper
Sheet: 18.5 x 21.6 cm (7 5/16 x 8 1/2 in.)
Bequest of James Parmelee 1940.990.2
Julie Mehretu: Portals (FRONT International: Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows)
These elegant surimono prints come from a set of five images inspired by the legend of the Shinto Supreme Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. She was once so offended by her brother that she retreated to a cave, leaving the earth in darkness. Several attempts to lure her out with cocks crowing, music-making, and a goddess dancing failed, but a mirror hung from a nearby tree made Amaterasu curious, bringing her to the entrance of the cave. A stone was quickly placed at the entrance to block her way back into the cave, and light was restored to the world. Each print is set against a blue evening sky with embossed clouds enriched with gold, silver, and copper.
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