C1898

Suzumushi. Chapter 38

Artist:

Ogata Gekko (1859 - 1920)

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).  In the summer, when the lotuses … Read Full Description

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S/N: JWB-GEKKO-015–226905
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Details

Full Title:

Suzumushi. Chapter 38

Date:

C1898

Artist:

Ogata Gekko (1859 - 1920)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodblock.

Image Size: 

237mm 
x 347mm
AUTHENTICITY
Suzumushi. Chapter 38 - Antique Print from 1898

Genuine antique
dated:

1898

Description:

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).

 In the summer, when the lotuses were at their best, the Third Princess dedicated to the chapel a holy image of Buddha made of sandalwood. The sight of the chapel moved Genji to tears. “And so here we sit side by side at a ceremony like this. Who would have expected it?” He wrote a poem that the separate drops of dew on the leaf of the lotus would share a lodging in the next world. She answered coldly: “Together, you say, in the lotus dwelling to come. But may you not have certain reservations?” Genji tried to comfort the Third Princess who was leading the lonely life of a nun. But in his depths, he could not give her up. Autumn insects were released to convey the atmosphere of an autumn field. On the night of the fifteenth of Eight Month, Genji called for a koto and treated her to a rare concert. Prince Hotaru, Yugiri and other courtiers came seeking the enjoyment of a moon-viewing fete.

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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