Part of a series of shikishiban-sized woodblocks that Gekko produced based on the areas of people, animals, and scenery, this scene of an egret in the water with the setting sun behind it is a rarity. We can find zero institutional holdings of this print, nor can we find any other retail or auction results. The one copy we’ve found is on the Ogata Gekko website linked above.
The Woodblock Print
This original shikishiban sized woodblock is in very good condition. Fine coloring, visible woodgrain, and great atmospheric treatment. There is faint discoloration lines along the edges where matting was covering the 1/4 cm edge. A clean verso, and an unknown publisher mark of an origami crane in the verso corner.
A rare and gorgeous print in good to very good collectible condition. In many museum holdings the smaller carp is not visible due to fading.
About the Artist
Ogata Gekkō (尾形月耕, 1859-1920) was a Japanese artist best known as a painter and a designer of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. He was self-taught in art, won numerous national and international prizes, and was one of the earliest Japanese artists to win an international audience.
Gekkō was self-taught in art and began by decorating porcelain and rickshaws, and designing flyers for the pleasure quarters. Around 1881 he took the surname Ogata at the insistence of a descendant of the painter Ogata Kōrin. He soon was designing prints and illustrating books and newspapers. In 1886 Gekkō produced the print series Gekkō Zuihitsu (月耕随筆, “Gekkō’s Random Sketches”). In 1888, he married an art student of his, Tai Kiku, his second marriage, and changed his family name to Tai. The First Sino-Japanese War was the subject of a number of triptychs he designed in 1894–95. From the 1890s onward Gekkō won a number of art prizes, both national and international, one of the earliest Japanese artists to win international attention.