Soft shades of grey and delicate blue shadows imbue this quiet evening scene of the pond at Kiyosumi Garden in Tokyo with an aura of peace and serenity. We feel rather than see the moon, and the focus is on a stone lantern, with carefully groomed pine trees behind.
The Woodblock Print
This oban by Kawase Hasui is in very good condition and has the 6mm seal indicating a lifetime print (1945-1957). Strong colors, good margins, clean verso with the exception of two small spots on the right of the verso where there is residue from being tacked to a backing. A few small and faint foxing spots on the bottom margin. A soft, quiet, and lovely Hasui print in very good condition.
About the Artist
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) was born to a textile dealer as the first son. His uncle was Kanagaki Robun, a famous playwrite. A pupil of Kaburaki Kiyokata who gave him the go of “Hasui”. Afterwards, he got to know Watanabe Shozaburo, then had a chance to see “Omi Hakkei” created by Ito Shinsui from the same school as his, which brought about an interest in the woodblock printing. In 1918, he released three pieces of “Shiobara” from Watanabe Printshop, afterwards, produced a number of landscape prints throughout his life and is considered one of the greats of the Shin Hanga art movement in Japanese woodblock printing.
Notes when buying: Hasui woodblocks were printed and reprinted both during his lifetime and post-mortem. When evaluating a Hasui woodblock, it is important to look carefully at the publisher seal, which will give a rough approximation for when the print in question was published, which can then be compared to when that print was originally published. Learn more about recognizing Watanabe-published editions here.