by Gekko (1859 - 1920)
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 - Dramatic scene of the surrender of Port Arthur by the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese War. At right, a Japanese officer drags a Chinese soldier by the wrist as he threatens another with his sword. His enemy pleads for mercy, clasping his hands together as he backs away. Explosions send the gunners manning a large cannon into the air, with Japanese troops approaching at left, one man gripping his gun overhead with both hands like a club. Japanese warships can be faintly seen in the distance at right past the crenellated walls. A great design, beautifully drawn. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection.
Artist - Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Image Size - 13 7/8" x 28 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight thinning at edge, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and small marks. Please see photos for details.
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