Yuho Tanaka (田中幽峰) was an accomplished artist and draughtsman active in Kyoto during the late-1800s. At the height of his career in the 1890s he created numerous graphic patterns inspired by butterflies that were eventually compiled into a book titled hyaku-cho-zuan, or One Hundred Butterfly Designs.
Tanaka’s designs are bold and colorful, with unique, decorative influences from western Art Nouveau. This is understandable, given the artist’s formative years occurred during the Meiji restoration when Japan had opened their doors after 200 years of isolation.
And yet even despite the western influences, there is something distinctly Japanese about the designs, such as the use of chrysanthemums and other Japanese flora throughout the prints.
And thanks to Japan’s National Diet Library (NDL), all of Tanaka’s images have been made available copyright-free, and for use both for individual and commercial purposes. You can see all of Yuho Tanaka’s butterfly designs here.