Cho no gotoku (Like Butterflies)

Accession Number

Cho no gotoku (Like Butterflies)

Nakayama Tadashi

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
color woodblock print on paper

23 in. x 33 7/8 in. ( 58.42 cm x 86.04 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Sheila and Ronnie Cresswell

Subject matter
Nakayama’s works can be divided into three periods; the first (early) period from 1955-1964, the second (middle) period from 1965-1968, and the third (late) period from 1969 to his last painting. In the first period, the common theme is horses. Moreover, he began experimenting with portraying girls, although the girls aren’t as developed and controlled as in later periods. He began portraying butterflies of different colors and sizes, he experimented with architecture, and he painted in most brown and green shades. The second period, he developed a new theme where he started portraying the horses with flowers, mostly pansies and poppies, and butterflies. The background colors also became lighter than in the first period. During this period he became more comfortable and controlled with his work; there is greater depth and motion on the page. In the third period, the subject of the prints mostly portrays a girl and he starts to use more complicated patterns and colors. He also gained a greater mastery over showing perspective.

Physical Description
A girl with her head and body in profile. Her black hair has strands of white, red, yellow, and blue, highlights. She has a blue, yellow, red, green and white butterfly in her hair and in holding a green, red, and white butterfly on her finger. She is also wearing tan and white floral patterned clothing. The background behind her can be split vertically in half; half is white and half is black. There is also a pagoda that splits into two colors like the background but the pagoda is black on the white background and tan on the black background. White wings of a butterfly extend drom either side of the pagoda.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area

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butterflies (general)
color prints (prints)
pagodas (buildings)
profiles (figures)

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& Author Notes

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