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.
The Swordsmith of Mt. Inari - Fantastic image of the famous blacksmith Sanjo Kokaji (Munechika) of Inari Mountain forging a divine sword with the assistance of a magical fox spirit. Kokaji kneels on a straw mat as he pounds the blade against an anvil, the area surrounded by sacred shimenawa ropes. The fox appears at left as a young boy wearing a flowing red wig topped with a golden fox figurine, gripping a hammer with both hands, taking turns at the anvil with the sword smith. Ghostly silhouettes of foxes appear in the distance, sitting and watching the process intently. A terrific depiction of this famous legend.
Artist - Gekko (1859 - 1920)
Image Size - 12 7/8" x 8 1/2"
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Backed with somewhat stiff paper. A few creases and stains. Please see photos for details.
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