Jacoulet, Paul

Paul Jacoulet (born in Paris in 1902, died in 1960) is one of a small number of westerners in the mokuhanga / shin-hanga world of the early 20th century. Arriving in Japan with his mother in 1906, with his father working at Tokyo University as a teacher, Paul was fluent in Japanese, French and English. He began painting at 11, worked in the French Embassy in Tokyo as an interpreter, and fell in love with Japanese culture. He began woodblock printmaking in 1934, working with some of the best professional carvers and printers because of the technical requirements of his designs. He self-published, mainly through a subscription-type service, so the number of prints pulled from a block depended on the number of subscriptions that he had (generally small).

Jacoulet used elaborate techniques for the creation of his prints. This included all the known deluxe features like embossing, lacquers, micas or metal pigments, while also experimenting with new techniques like powdered semi-precious stones. For his prints he used special watermarked papers from Kyoto instead of the normal Japanese washi paper.