|UNSEN (fl. 1874-75)||
'New Invention: Picture of the Interior Works of a German Battleship'
- Shin hatsu mei: Doitsukoku gunkan naikaku kikai no zu -
Signed: oju Unsen hitsu, with seal: Unsen
Publisher: Masadaya Heikichi
Size: oban triptych (c. 37 x 24.5 cms, each panel)
Fine impression and color, occasional faint
soil and some minor restoration along margins,
near fine overall condition. - Very RARE.
ref. no.: # 702575
- Sold -
"Technological innovation and the interiors of Western naval vessels continued to interest
the artists of the Yokohama prints even after Japan established its Navy Ministry in
1872. UNSEN, an artist who specialized in depicting Western ships, portrayed in this triptych
the interior rooms of a new battleship from Germany. Prussia and the North German Confederation
had negotiated a commercial treaty with Japan in 1861, and the first Prussian consulate in
Japan was established the following year.
The battleship hull nearly fills the picture, so that only a portion of the rigging can be discerned. - The deck teems with activity, including men working in the ropes. Below the deck, living quarters (those for officers to the right, and those for men of lower rank to the left and below) and rooms housing guns, ammunition, ropes, anchors, horses and provisions, are labeled with captions." (A. Yonemura, op.cit.)
Ann Yonemura, Yokohama - Prints from the Nineteenth-century Japan; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1990; col. ill. pp. 72-73.
Julia Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print - Impressions of a New Civilization; New York/Tokyo, 1986; p.99; col.ill. plate 16.