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 night view of Meiji Imperial troops advancing across the Ansong River at the Battle of Asan during the Sino-Japanese War. Officer on horseback watch the movements of their men from a grassy hilltop as shots explode, sending clouds of yellow and orange smoke into the night sky, along with an eerie bright pink glow. The soldiers wade through the river, covered by cannon fire from the hill at right, disappearing into the smoke hovering over the opposite shore. A terrific composition, beautifully colored and shaded. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection. A great subject for a student of military history.
Artist - Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 13 5/8" x 27 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight paper remnants on reverse from previous backing. Light crease at corner. A couple small losses and holes, repaired. Slight soiling at edge. Please see photos for details.