A rarely seen design by Yoshimoto Gesso of a cuckoo flying in the rain over a minimal landscape, this print is an even more rare chirimen gami-e (special edition crepe paper) issue of the print.
The Woodblock Print
This print measures approximately 7″ by 11″, making it a bit bigger than a chuban, but considering the technique of chimimen gami-e where the print is shrunken in the process, this print likely began an inch or so larger in both dimensions. The print is in very good condition, but we don’t have other examples to compare against. The print is backed and without margins, but this could have been the way it was issued. There are small pinholes in the top corners where it might have been displayed, but they do not detract from the print which itself has good color and condition.
About the Artist
Yoshimoto Gesso is known for a large number of landscape and kacho-e (images of birds and flowers) designs published by Hasegawa and Nishinomiya, but little else is biographically known about him. These designs were very well crafted with artistic compositions made presumably for the export/foreign market. His work is very painterly, leading some to believe that he was a trained painter whose works were commissioned, and then transformed into woodblocks by the professional carvers and printers at Hasegawa and Nishinomiya, but that is speculation.