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Lot 375: OGATA GEKKO尾形月耕 (1859 – 1920)
19 November 2016
Vienna, Vienna, AustriaLive Auction
Kacho-e. A monkey clutching a branch observes the reflection of the moon in water. Original color woodblock print, published 1900/10. Signed: Gekko. Published: Matsuki Heikichi.
The monkey depicted by Gekko with its overlong arms is not native to Japan. It has nothing common with the totally different-looking Makaki monkeys, which bathe in hot springs – the only monkey species living in Japan.
The painter Ogata Gekko, mostly well-known by us as color woodblock master, although self-educated, was a very successful and versatile artist, who counted in the Meiji Period among the most renowned masters of his genre. Although the influence of Western painting is indeed obvious in his works with their frugal, almost sketch-like elements and delicate, airy colors and shading, his genre remains faithful to traditional forms and themes of Japan.
Despite the fact that he produced the most woodblock illustrations for the newspaper, the most enchanting works in his genre are rather to be found in the subtle leaves of still life, plant and animal pictures, female depictions or motifs in a historical context with old Japan.
SHIKISHIBAN, 24,5 x 26 CM
From a Viennese private collection