While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.
Pagoda at Ninnaji Temple by Benji Asasa 1950
16 by 10 3/8 inches
For a long time, we have admired
and collected works from Asia. We are pleased to offer
this collection of wood block prints from great artists
of Japan: Kawase Hasui, Shiro Kasamatsu, Shoda Koho,
Eijiro Koyobashi, Imao Keinen, Kasa Matso, and Koson
Shin Hanga, or "new prints,"
incorporated Western tastes and eye for beauty into
traditional Japanese art. Their popularity is due to the
efforts of Shozaburo Watanabe, a keen
businessman who gathered young artists around him to
learn the new European concepts of perspective, light and shade.
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) is
one the great masters of the Shin Hanga movement.
Shortly before his death, the Japanese government
declared his art work a Living National Treasure, the
highest honor bestowed in modern-day Japan. Hasui was the master of landscape
prints. Famous are his night scene prints and the
designs showing snowfall or rain. The artist's landscape
prints hardly ever show people, partially because he was
nearsighted and needed to wear thick glasses to see
details. People also would not stand still long enough
for him to work. He traveled frequently to create his
art, sketching out a scenic landscape before him then
adding color later. On his return visits to Tokyo,
Watanabe's wood carvers would make the blocks for
Kasamatsu (1898-1991) was 13 when he began to study
traditional Japanese painting and printmaking, and his
immense talent was recognized at various exhibitions.
Western art collectors appreciated his romantic
landscapes depicting Japanese life and landmarks. His
impressions of Shinobazu Pond were so popular that they
were reprinted well into the 1940s.
Shoda Koho (1875-1925)
created graceful depictions of garden scenes and
Japanese women in woodblock prints.
Imao Keinen (1845-1924)
specialized in Kacho-ga (Flower and Bird prints) with
realistic detail. He studied calligraphy and the
painting styles of several masters, and developed his
own eclectic style. In1888 he became professor at the
Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting, in 1904 became a
member of the Art Committee of the Imperial Household,
and in 1919 he became a member of the Imperial Art
Koson Ohara is the
best-known printmaker for Kacho-e, another form of
prints of birds and flowers. Ironically, an American
colleague convinced Koson to create woodblock prints in
the traditional style. His flower and bird prints in
tanzaku form were highly popular abroad in the United
States during his lifetime.
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