Japan Art and Ogata Gekkō
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Ogata Gekkō (1859-1920) was born during the late Edo Period. Henceforth, despite dying during the Taisho Period (1912-1926), his art was shaped by the dynamics of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
Gekkō focused on a broad array of artistic themes through the world of Japanese prints – accordingly, from the less challenging natural pieces of ukiyo-e to more challenging ideas concerning landscapes or being inspired by rinpa (rimpa).
The Portland Art Museum says, “His print style is more reminiscent of paintings than traditional woodblocks and his designs required great skill of the carvers and printers who executed them… Along with his contemporary Watanabe Seitei, he was instrumental in introducing the sashiage printing technique that closely simulated the appearance of watercolor painting.”
The self-taught angle of Gekkō is also felt in his art.
The British Museum says, “Largely self-taught as an ukiyo-e artist, producing both historical and genre scenes of the more traditional kind.”
Overall, you can feel the influence of Kikuchi Yosai and Katsushika Hokusai despite the individualism that blessed his career.
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