Gekko Ogata, Jingzhou Castle Pursuit, First Sino-Japanese War


Artist: Gekko Ogata (1859-1920)
Title: Jingzhou Castle Pursuit (日清戦争金州城追撃之図)
Series title: The First Sino-Japanese War
Publisher: Tamura Tamekichi
Date: 1894
Size: (L)36.8 x 25.8 (C)36.5 x 25.6 (R)36.5 x 25.3 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

gekko ogata, Jingzhou Castle Pursuit (日清戦争金州城追撃之図), sino-japanese war
gekko ogata, Jingzhou Castle Pursuit (日清戦争金州城追撃之図), sino-japanese war gekko ogata, Jingzhou Castle Pursuit (日清戦争金州城追撃之図), sino-japanese war

Battle triptychs were produced in large numbers during the Sino-Japanese (1894 - 1895) and Russo-Japanese wars (1904 - 1905) to satisfy widespread interest in the progress of the imperial army and maintain popular support for the conflicts. The prints idealised the heroism of Japanese troops risking their lives for the emperor. As the demand for traditional woodblock prints fell in the Meiji era, many artists turned to wartime propaganda to make ends meet.



Gekko Ogata

Within the genre of Japanese art, Gekko Ogata worked as a decorator of lacquer wares and pottery, as well as an illustrator for books and newspapers. These experiences made him a versatile artist and helped him develop his own style when he turned to printmaking. It is often pointed out that the uniqueness of his style might have caused some problems for carvers and printers, as his designs often resembled that of water colour and oil paintings, not the traditional ukiyo-e-style prints in which lines were clear and areas of the same colour were separated. In kacho-e (images of flowers and birds), one of his major subjects, he mastered the art of depicting the details of birds' feathers.

After the Sino-Japanese war erupted, Gekko took up another subject and started creating war prints. As a war correspondent for a newspaper company, he accompanied the troops to the battlefields, made sketches of the battle scenes and turned them into prints back at home in Japan. Gekko favoured a variety of subjects alongside reporting on the war: flowers and birds, landscapes, beauties, animals and family scenes. His print series, 'Beauties at Famous Places', was published in the early 20th century. He was awarded a gold medal at 1904's St Louis World's Fair for selections from his landscape series, 'Gekko's One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji'.

More Information
Print FormatTriptych
ArtistGekko Ogata
Dimensions(L)36.8 x 25.8 (C)36.5 x 25.6 (R)36.5 x 25.3 cm
Condition ReportLight creases on the corners, scribbles on top of the right panel.
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