Senso-e - Senso-e are prints depicting wars, most often the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 - 1895 and the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 - 1905. Primarily triptychs, these images filled the journalistic need for illustrations of current activities on the battle front, but also acted as propaganda, encouraging support for the wars and fostering patriotism. These prints emphasized the bravery and success of the army and navy, using dramatic designs and bold compositions, with customers eagerly purchasing the latest prints. Some famous Meiji era artists did senso-e, including Kiyochika, Chikanobu, and Gekko. By the time the Russo-Japanese War came around, woodblock prints had fallen out of favor due to competition with photography and lithography, so fewer designs exist from this time period as compared to the Sino-Japanese War.
Comments - Incredible scene from the Great Naval Battle in the Yellow Sea off the Yalu River during the Sino-Japanese War. In the foreground, men in diving suits and helmets fight with a sword and an enormous clever in front of a net strung across the mouth of the river. A diver at right illuminates the scene with a lantern, casting a shaft of orange light across the murky water. One man in a diving suit lies on the riverbed, while at left a swimmer attacks an enemy with his sword as another fellow swims off. On the choppy water above, two naval ships cast floodlights across the sea, the smaller boats in the center steaming across the waves. A fantastic and creative design, beautifully drawn with fine line work and soft shading in the water and light. A fascinating subject.
Image Size - 14" x 27 3/4"
Condition - This print with good color and nice detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight paper remnants on reverse at sides from previous mounting. Rippling throughout. Please see photos for details.