The moon quietly rises above the mountain, fishermen pole quietly through the placid waters of the lake, a family takes in the beauty of the scene from their waterfront house. This idyllic scene crosses cultures and continents; the moment I displayed the print to my son he exclaimed “that’s at Lake George (New York)!” and sure enough, as we were walking around the lake, we could replicate this scene almost exactly.
The composition of this piece creates a sense of calm, and like the people in the lake house taking in the scene, you want to take it in with them. But do you spend your time examining the details of the boats in the water and the far bank, or do you instead sneak a peek at the people in the house? I find myself marveling at the detail on their kimonos.
The Woodblock Print
This oban-sized woodblock print (10″x17″) is in ideal condition. There is strong color and strong lines throughout, incredible detail and color in that detail, and even the shadows of trees on the distant mountain are perfectly articulated. The print has full margins, no creasing, foxing, or discoloration anywhere. No signs of ever having been attached to backing, solid bleed-through to the verso. Based on research there have been limited copies of this print on the market, and most of the ones seen haven’t been in nearly this quality condition, especially considering it was printed nearly 100 years ago.
Shoda Koho 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.