Felice Beato was an Italian-British photographer who lived from 1832 to 1909. I found this fascinating photograph of a real Samurai on Pinterest, photographed by Beato. It was probably made around 1865 in Yokohama, Japan, in the early days of photography.
I immediately liked a few things about this Samurai photograph: the lovely way the light touches this strong and mysterious man, the small shadows which define his face and the powerful shape that is formed together by the body and the sword.
I’d almost say: it was an honor to paint this real life ‘Last Samurai’. I’m really satisfied with the way his right hand turned out: a thick and loosely painted shape which embodies the power of an old warrior.
Samurai painting to honor a lost tradition