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 - Dramatic illustration from the Sino-Japanese War of a fierce battle at Songhwan. At lower right, a Japanese soldier drags a Chinese prisoner along the ground by his pigtail as another captured enemy pleads for mercy with his hands clasped. Behind them, a general on horseback watches his men firing shots from several cannon, with clouds of smoke drifting overhead. Gusts of wind sweep across the battlefield, adding to the drama. Drawn with energetic line work and nicely detailed with fine bokashi shading. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection.
Artist - Kiyochika (1847 - 1915)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 3/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Folds at edges. Small loss at edge, a couple holes, repaired. Slight toning and creasing, slight ink offsetting. Please see photos for details. Good overall.