Original Toshikata (1866 - 1908) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Great Battle of the Ansong Ford: The Valor of Captain Matsuzaki, 1894 - 1895
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 - Terrific scene of Captain Matsuzaki leading his troops across the river to engage the enemy during the Great Battle of the Ansong Ford. He lunges forward onto the shore brandishing his sword as his men swim and wade through the deep water, some carrying heavy packs on their backs. The Chinese soldiers react with surprise, one man falling backwards and dropping his gun. In the background, a white-uniformed Japanese uses his gun as a club to battle the enemy. A dramatic composition with an atmospheric night setting, a crescent moon glowing high above the mountains at right and orange shots streaking through the night sky. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection. Includes burnishing on the black uniform jacket.
Artist - Toshikata (1866 - 1908)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 27 1/2" + top margin as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with paper. Vertical fold at side. A few small holes, repaired. Slight soiling, a few spots. Please see photos for details.