Tokyo-Machi O Miru Kuro-Hagewashi
ArtistBenjamin Joel Wilkinson
DescriptionInk, gouache, and watercolors on canvas. The Japanese title translates as "Black Vulture Overlooking Tokyo City."
Inspired by 19th-century Japanese art prints, this is a combination of ink painting and impressionistic gouache painting. Most of the vulture was painted with ink, the sky and mountains with gouache, and the city is a mixture of both. The cityscape is heavily stylized, with more of an intent to convey the essence of a vast urban area than to be strictly accurate.
The bird depicted, the Cinereous or Eurasian Black Vulture, is one of the largest birds of prey in the world and a famous long-distance traveler, and has been seen in almost every country in Asia and Europe. But it's a very rare sight in Japan, where only single juvenile vultures appear every few years. So, in a way, this can be thought of as a very literal illustration of a youngster leaving the nest and
trying to make it in the big city.