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 - Bold image from the Sino-Japanese War of the Japanese Second Army overtaking the Chinese battery at Weihaiwei. At top center, a Japanese soldier sends two enemies tumbling over the edge of a stone tower as a compatriot waves the national flag behind him and buglers sound the victory. On the lower level at left, a few wounded Chinese crawl about the terrace, one clasping his hand together as he pleads for mercy. A shot explode in the wintry gray sky in a puff of orange tinted smoke, with Japanese warships on the water beyond. A terrific composition, beautifully detailed with a spattering of gofun (white pigment) to simulate falling snow. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection.
Artist - Toshiaki (1864 - 1921)
Image Size - 13 5/8" x 27 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Backed with paper. Slight toning, a few creases and small marks, stain. Please see photos for details.
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