Gekko Zuihitsu [Gekko’s Miscellaneous Jottings].

OGATA Gekko (1896])


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A complete album of Ogata Gekko's masterpiece

Second edition. Woodblock title page, 48 colour woodblock prints, complete. Oban tate-e, 24x35cm. 24 double-page plates loose in brocade covered boards (worn edges), English pencil annotations in top margin not affecting plates, minor surface staining, some oxidisation of the red cartouches, occasional offsetting, but overall still a very good set. Unpaginated. Tokyo, Matsuki Heikichi, dated: Meiji 29 [i.e. 

A rare, complete album of Gekko's most celebrated series, featuring dramatic depictions of Japanese folkloric legends, beasts, as well as famous historical figures.

Ogata Gekko (1859-1920) was one of the foremost woodblock artists of the Meiji period. Essentially self-taught, he gained popularity as a newspaper illustrator and designer of Ukiyo-e prints during the 1890s. He was also a founding member of a number of important art institutions, including Nihon Bijutsu Kyokai (Academy of Japanese Art), and the Nihon Seinen Kaiga Kyôkaï (Japan Youth Painting Association). He received a large number of awards and won international recognition at the World Columbia Exhibition in Chicago in 1893 and the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.

The present publication features a series of portraits of fictional and historical characters who were held in high esteem during the Meiji period. Gods, warriors, scholars, courtesans, emperors, poets, actors, wrestlers, monks, and spirits are portrayed with equal intensity, referencing both their individuality and the historical context. It also includes a small number of scenic views. A previous owner identified all the characters and pencilled their names in English in the top margin.  

The printer Matsuki Heikichi (1870-1931) won a bronze medal at the third National Industrial Exhibition for the quality of his reproductions which is proudly reproduced on the last page. 

Stock Code: 252193

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