A dramatic scene captured in rich colors: the large fishing net being hauled in, a brightly rendered torch bringing warmth to a dark night, people walking along the darkened bridge overhead.
Arai Yoshimune was a Japanese artist associated with the shin-hanga (“New Prints”) art movement in Japan during the early 20th century. This movement was influenced by European Impressionism and its imagery focused on landscapes, women, and nature. In the 1920s, the publisher Hasegawa commissioned a small group of artists to create woodblock prints for a series entitled “Hasegawa’s Night Scenes”, of which there were a total of 21 prints by 6 artists.
The scene makes heavy use of dark blue and darker blue shadows to convey the night and objects within the night. Under a bridge overpass, a solitary fisherman in his boat hauls in his net by the light of a torch, whose light ripples on the water. We see the silhouettes of people going about their late-night business above, in the distance we see the light of a house(?) on lands further out on the river.
The Woodblock Print
This print is an early edition “Made in Japan” export; we know it’s an early edition as we removed it from the original matting/folio that it was sold in, complete with the pencil signature on the matting. Unfortunately the original matting was not acid-free, so while the colors are still rich, there is discoloration from where the matting overlapped the printed section of the piece. This discoloration is noticeable up close, but not noticeable from any realistic distance or once the piece is behind glass. Light residue in the reverse top corners from where it was tipped to the folio. Original signed matting will be provided with the purchase to maintain authenticity.
About the Artist
Utagawa Yoshimune II was the eleventh and youngest son of Utagawa Yoshimune I (1817-1880) his childhood residence was in the Kinroku-chō area of Tokyo. At a young age he studied with the famous ukiyo-e artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) and he assumed the name Toshiyuki at age thirteen. After his father’s death he was adopted by the Arai family. He succeeded his father in 1882 to become Yoshimune II and occasionally used his father’s art name Isshōsai, along with the name Arai Yoshimune. Worked as illustrator and print designer. Also known as Arai Toshiyuki.
(C) Fair Condition