by Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Series; Gekko's Essays
Gekko's Essays - Begun in 1886, "Gekko's Essays" (Zuihitsu) is a wonderful series encompassing a wide range of subjects. Gekko depicts figures from history and mythology, including famous beauties, poets, scholars, and warriors, along with a few supernatural creatures. These handsome designs are rendered in Gekko's distinctive painterly style, with soft washes of color and flowing calligraphic line work, expertly printed by Matsuki Heikichi to capture these qualities. The series was completed by 1887, but woodblocks are found with dates up to 1899, proving the popularity of the designs, which continued to be printed. A great choice to collect or display.
Urashima Taro - Fantastic image from the tale of the young fisherman Urashima Taro and the Dragon Palace. After rescuing a turtle from children who were teasing it, the animal rewarded him with a visit to the Dragon Palace under the sea. Here, Urashima Taro rides home after his short visit on the back of an enormous turtle with moss flowing from its shell, a sign of longevity. He carries his fishing pole over his shoulder and a fine lacquer box under his arm, a gift from the Dragon Princess, who told him never to open it. Upon his return home a few days later, he discovered that hundreds of years had passed. He opened the lacquer box, and suddenly became a wizened old man, as the box had contained his old age. The palace of the dragon king appears at upper left, a hazy mirage beyond the undulating waves. A terrific design from this famous folk story, detailed with faint embossing on the tunic and a metallic pigment that has oxidized to a dark tone on the flower pattern on the white pants.
Artist - Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Backed with paper. Stitching holes at side, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and marks. Please see photos for details.
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