C1898

Umegae. Chapter 32

Artist:

Ogata Gekko (1859 - 1920)

Chapter 32 from Ogata Gekko’s, Fifty Four Chapters of Tale of Genji. The Tale of Genji was written shortly after the year 1000 in Japan’s Heian era, when the capital was situated at Heian-kyo(present day Kyoto). Prince Hotaru came calling … Read Full Description

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S/N: JWB-GEKKO-013–226904
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Details

Full Title:

Umegae. Chapter 32

Date:

C1898

Artist:

Ogata Gekko (1859 - 1920)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodblock.

Image Size: 

237mm 
x 347mm
AUTHENTICITY
Umegae. Chapter 32 - Antique Print from 1898

Genuine antique
dated:

1898

Description:

Chapter 32 from Ogata Gekko’s, Fifty Four Chapters of Tale of Genji.

The Tale of Genji was written shortly after the year 1000 in Japan’s Heian era, when the capital was situated at Heian-kyo(present day Kyoto).

Prince Hotaru came calling on the tenth of the Second Month. A gentle rain was falling and the rose plum near the veranda was in full and fragrant bloom. The brothers were admiring the blossoms when a note came attached to a plum branch. It was from Princess Asagao. She had also sent a box containing large balls of perfume. In the letter, she said she would like him to deliver this present to the princess of Akashi. Prince Hotaru admired the beauty of the decoration and Genji wrote a poem of appreciation. It was now decided that Genji’s daughter would go to court. Genji collected books and scrolls for her library. He invited the finest calligraphers to create masterpieces. Selecting poems from these admired anthologies, Genji tried several styles with fine results, formal and cursive Chinese and the more radically cursive Japanese “ladies hand”. He secluded himself as before in the main hall for concentration. He had with him only two or three women whom he could count on for comments. He seems to be enjoying his job, taking a brush between his teeth.

Biography:

Ogata Gekko (1859-1920)

Gekko’s was born Nakagami Masanosuke in the Kobayashi district of Edo (Tokyo), and lived most of his life in the same district.  His father was a wealthy merchant who ran the family business which had been established for several generations.

Gekko was orphaned at the age of 16 when his father died and his family lost their businesses and had to open a lantern shop. The teenage Gekko survived by designing rickshaws and selling his drawings. His rickshaws were shown at the Interior Exhibition of Industrial Design as examples of fine contemporary craftsmanship. 

After this and after producing an immense number of paintings and sketches, he was recognized by such important figures as the artist Kawanabe Kyosai (often credited for ‘discovering’ Gekko) and the famous Ogata family, direct descendants of one of Japan’s most celebrated artists, Ogata Korin (who was himself older brother to the legendary artist, Ogata Kenzan). Ogata Koya adopted him and the young artist appended  their family name to the name he gave himself, Gekko, which means ‘Moonlight’.

Though Gekko would later become a founding member and developer of several important art institutions, including Nihon Bijutsu Kyôkaï, Nihon Seinen Kaïga Kyôkaï (the Japan Youth Painting Association), the Academy of Japanese Art, the Bunten (the Ministry of Education’s annual juried exhibition), and an actively participating member of the Nihon Bijitsuin and the Meiji Fine Art Association, he never attended art school himself, nor did he undergo the traditional apprenticeship in a print maker’s studio. In a society that discouraged self-promotion, Gekko began his art career by preparing flyers and taking them around to various publishers and places to sell his services as an illustrator for magazines and newspapers and a designer of lacquerware and pottery.

Although his techniques were thoroughly modern, Gekko considered himself to be firmly rooted in the ukiyo-e tradition. Though he had no teacher himself, he had some outstanding pupils during a 30 year teaching career, including Yamamura Toyonari (Koka), his son Ogata Getsuzan, Kanamori Nanko, and Tsukioka Kôgyo (1869-1927), whose mother had married the Meiji Period’s other great artist, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

 

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