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 - Fascinating triptych depicting two Manchurian soldiers spying on the Japanese camp near Sauhoku during the Sino-Japanese War. Both men wear tunics with a circular motif on the front, and their faces are painted, giving them a fierce appearance. They ride small, rather shaggy ponies, and the leader carries a glaive and has a sword hanging from his waist. His companion has a woven hat slung at his side, the surface painted with a monstrous open-mouthed face. The men pause as they look out across the valley below, the sun rising in the distance. An unusual and intriguing image, finely detailed.
Artist - Beisaku (1864 - 1903)
Image Size - 13 7/8" x 27 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Paper remnants on reverse at sides from previous mounting. Slight wrinkling at top of center panel. Please see photos for details.
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