Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An artist's artist

Gekko developed a wide range of painting skills, and was able to work in the style of most of the traditional Japanese schools. This is a diptych which would fit well into the style of the Maruyama-Shijo school but with a Nihonga influence. The left hand image is one of spring, the right is summer. It has some wonderful Chinese style brushwork and beautiful detail.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Ogata Gekko, Meiji Master Artist

Well this blog is an attempt to bring some of the paintings of Ogata Gekko to the web. I believe Gekko was one of the best artists of Meiji Japan. I hope to show a few of his less well known paintings and perhaps some of his rarer prints in this blog. Lets start with this beautiful little painting, which I call Bijin (pretty woman) in Blue.

There are some fantastically intricate items on her obi and kimono. The red obi has finely painted butterflies, the lower part of the outer kimono shows water grasses and plants. All this is draped on a very elegant young lady.

This painting was probably done in the first half of the 1890's. There are a number of Bijin paintings by Gekko from this period. Whilst drawing on the Ukiyo-e tradition, it is distinctly part of the newer Nihonga (literally Japanese made) school in style and the Bijin's pose is less stilted than many of the older school. The signature is a fairly typical mid period Gekko signature and the two part red seal states simply but elegantly "Gekk├┤ ". I hope at some stage to put up some of his other many seals to show the wide variety which exist.