Sailboats set against a glowing, richly hued sky, the main boat has its sail outstretched to catch the breeze from astern. Printed between 1930 and 1950, with a signature in Kanji, so most likely intended for the domestic market (pieces for export are signed Y.ITO).
The Woodblock Print
This oban-sized woodblock is in very good condition. Vibrant colors with subtle gradations. Intact margins, a relatively clean verso (residue from tape) on the edges. There is a slight discoloration line down the left edge of the print from where it was behind matting, but only very slightly and perhaps only .25cm in width.
About the Artist
Ito Yuhan (1882-1951) was primarily a landscape painter, but designed an extraordinary group of woodblock prints during the 1930’s for the publisher Nishinomiya. Yuhan’s print designs are usually characterized by vivid colors and subtle gradations. His unique style makes his prints look similar to watercolors, a key part of that style and technique is that his prints lack an outlining key block, enabling the colors to blend without lines. Yuhan’s soft style evokes the romantic beauty of Japan’s past; the absence of human figures adds to the sense of quiet timelessness.