Originally printed in April of 1931, a beautiful and pensive night scene. The moon sheds its light on a row of blossoming trees along the river bank. Darker pine trees, behind, rise upwards, adding a sense of nature both mysterious and grand. Fine gradations of blues in great variety, sometimes turning into softest purple, add depth and abundance to this beautiful scene.
The Woodblock Print
This is a lifetime edition Hasui woodblock with the 6mm Watanabe seal in the lower left corner of the print. The print is in excellent condition with the only “flaw” being some residue in the upper verso from being hinged to matting in the past. There are no flaws or discolorations to the print, incredibly rich color throughout. Clean margins, deckle on the upper margin. A beautiful copy of an iconic woodblock.
About the Artist
One of the most sought-after Japanese printmakers, and perhaps the most recognizable shin-hanga landscape artist. Kawase Hasui (川瀬巴水, 1883-1957) was born to a textile dealer as the first son. His uncle was Kanagaki Robun, a famous playwright. 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.