Paul Binnie Kuniyoshi's Cats

Paul Binnie “Kuniyoshi's Cats” artwork
Kuniyoshi was well-known in the Edo period for his love of cats, and they appear in all sorts of prints by him, from bijin-ga to shunga, and in my print the tattoos as well as the title cartouche derive from his c. 1848 series Cats Representing the 53 Stations of the Tokaido. The real cat in the print belonged to my fellow artist and printmaker Ralph Kiggell, and was a Thai-born Siamese, while the seal in this print is a cartoon cat design made up of the letters of my name, a conceit which I have decided to continue throughout the series, contorting the Roman letters of 'Paul Binnie' into images which refer to the subject. Throughout the series, the designs will break out of the frames into the margins, and will be placed against shaded sumi backgrounds printed in baren-sujizuri, or swirling texture printing, while the title and signature will be printed in bronze metallic pigment. In Kuniyoshi's Cats the fur of the real cat is embossed or blind-printed, and other designs will have mica, gofun or lacquer printing.
Paul Binnie,
Paul Binnie
Kuniyoshi's Cats
Japanese title
Kuniyoshi no neko 国芳の猫
Series title
A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo
Japanese series title
Edo sumi hyaku shoku 江戸墨百色
Colour woodblock print on paper
Paper dimensions (h × w)
43 × 29 cm
Image dimensions (h × w)
39.5 × 27 cm
Edition size
Artist's proofs
1 known
Paul Binnie
Paul Binnie
Handsome Men (Bidanshi 美男子)
Tattoos (Irezumi 刺青)
First print in tattoo series
Tattooed version of White Cat
Van den Ing, E (ed.) , Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past, Art Media Resources, Chicago, p. 116
Metropolitan Museum of Art collection
Catalogue number
79 (L141)
Supplementary images