An incredibly delicate and subtle chuban-sized woodblock by Ito Sozan, the “master” of kacho-e before being replaced at Watanabe by Ohara Koson. Using primarily shades of grey, the only color limited to the beak, eyes, and the ends of the egret’s feathers, this print is then highlighted with silver ink for the treatment of the diagonal rain (a higher-end treatment not commonly used on chuban)
The Woodblock Print
This chuban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition. No flaws or discolorations to the print, clean intact margins, a clean verso. Silver ink highlights (used in the rain) all in good condition with nice shine to them. The subtle colored areas are all still vibrant.
About the Artist
Itō Sōzan lived between 1884 and 1926 and was associated with the Shin Hanga print movement. Little known, his catalog of prints have been overshadowed by the more famous Ohara Koson as he also seems to have been replaced by Koson for his publisher Watanabe. Ito Sozan was a noted designer of kacho-ga (flowers and birds), and fulfilled that role with the newly formed Watanabe publishing house until his death/replacement (the exact story reasoning is unknown).