Kiyochika: Searchlight Battle Triptych

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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika
Title: Searchlight Battle Triptych
Date: 1894

Using an Electric Searchlight in the Attack on Pyongyang shows the Japanese artillery teams in the foreground firing cannon shots across the Taedong River at the city walls. An orange halo rises above the walls, and orange-yellow explosions are evident. Three silhouetted soldiers on the left man the generator and the searchlight that projects a white beam across the river to its target. There is a fantastic, theatrical quality to this design that is at odds with its subject matter. (Heijô kôgeki denki shiyô no zu.)

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Large margins, with slight wrinkles. Unbacked.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (38 x 76.5 cm)
Publisher: Inoue Kichijiro
Literature: Henry D. Smith II, “Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan,” page 82, plate 91 (1988); Kenji Himohana, “War and Ukiyoe,” pages 70-71, plate 70 (Ota Memorial Museum 2016); Kobayashi Kiyochika: “A Retrospective,” pages 140-41, plate 226 (2016).
Signature: Kiyochika