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 - Fantastic illustration of the moonlight attack on Port Arthur during the Sino-Japanese War. Japanese troops have overrun a Chinese gun emplacement, with dying Chinese lying piled up on the ground next to the weapons. Several Japanese take aim at the remaining enemies, who attempt to flee by climbing over the earthworks at right. Two puffs of smoke float in the night air, and two Chinese tumble backwards in midair after being hit. Misty clouds drift across the night sky with a full moon glowing overhead. A dramatic and memorable image with and atmospheric setting and fine bokashi shading. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection.
Image Size - 14" x 27 3/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight paper remnants on reverse at top corners from previous mounting. Slight soiling, a few creases. Please see photos for details. Good overall.