Sunday, September 20, 2009








Today's offering is a very sensitive ink painting, comprising only shades of black and the clever use of untouched space to convey the sense of height and distance. It may well depict the buddhist monk Saigyō Hōshi, a famous poet of the late Heian period whose work often explored the feeling of loneliness (sabi). There is certainly some sense of that in this picture. The seal is an unusual one and reads Meikyousai. This piece probably painted between 1910 and 1920.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chinese God


This next painting is a much smaller piece, not too much bigger than an A4 sized piece of paper. The detailed brush work around the face gives great character to the image. Chinese gods and their Japanese counterparts often appear in Gekko's ouevre. They always have a sense of serenity about them and often a cheeky grin, like this one.
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Dont forget you can click on any of the images in my posts for a more detailed view

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dotou Hinode




This superb piece is titled Dotou Hinode, "Surging waves at Sunrise".

An inspired image, one which evokes a sense of power reminiscent of the famous Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai. The comparison with Hokusai is not unjustified, it was said in the Meiji period that Gekko's Manga (sketch books for study) were the successors to Hokusai's Manga from a generation earlier.

The seal on this piece reads Konchû Tenru.

Thursday, February 5, 2009



I have posted this painting to give an example of Gekko's versatility as an artist. This is a sumi-e painting, over 2 metres tall, of Zhuangzi also known as Chuang Tzu, an early and important Chinese philosopher. It was Zhuangzi who first proposed the story that he had been dreaming he was a butterfly and then woke to discover he was Zhuangzi, but on further thought realised he may have been a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi.

This painting is one of a series covering Chinese deities/philosophers. It is quite possible that the series was commissioned by a temple or monastery given the size of each piece.



The seal on this painting is as yet unread