Flowers of Japan - Gekko's "Flowers of Japan" series features a variety of subjects beyond flowers, including historical figures and events, and pastimes or daily activities. These charming designs are rendered in Gekko's painterly style, which includes attractive calligraphic line work with a loose, sketch-like quality. Prints were published between 1892 and 1900, and many subjects include deluxe publishing techniques such as burnishing, embossing, or mica. These attractive Meiji era designs are a nice choice to collect or display.
Sakurada Gate, Approaching the Castle of His Lord on the Third Day of the Third Month, 1892 - Fantastic scene showing an assassin waiting for Chief Minister Ii Naosuke outside Edo Castle in 1860. Ii had supported the succession of the twelve-year-old Tokugawa Iemochi to Shogun upon the death of Tokugawa Iesada, rather than Lord Mito's son Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu, angering the Mito Clan. Then, acting without the Emperor's consent, Ii signed the Harris Treaty with the United States, opening Japan up to trade with the West. These insults could not be accepted, so one winter morning, seventeen Mito samurai waited in the snow for Ii to arrive at the Sakurada Gate of the castle. Here, one of the warriors crouches beneath a straw mat in the blowing snow, waiting as the minister's procession leaves the gates at left. A fascinating historic scene, beautifully detailed with delicate embossing on the white shirt and headband and a spattering of gofun (white pigment) to simulate falling snow.
Artist - Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Image Size - 13" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. A few spots. Please see photos for details.
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