A rare, signed and numbered print by Masao Maeda, one of the leading artists of the sosaku-hanga movement of the mid-20th century. Printed in 1960, this print is pencil-numbered 42/100.
Penketo Lake is one of three lakes that were created after an eruption from Mount Oakan divided Lake Akan into three. Although the lakes are not open to the general public, you can see them from the Sokodai Observation Deck nearby, which is the view depicted here.
The Woodblock Print
This chuban-sized woodblock is in very good condition with nice strong colors, rich tones, clean margins and a clean verso. The print is on thicker paper, so bleed through is limited, but it is unbacked. Very slight toning lines in the margins from where it might have been framed in the past.
About the Artist
Masao Maeda (前田 政雄, Maeda Masao, 1904 – 1974) was a woodblock print artist born in Hakodate on the island of Hokkaidō, Japan.
In 1923 Maeda met Hiratsuka Un’ichi, a leader of the sosaku-hanga “creative prints” movement and in 1925 relocated to Tokyo and joined the Kawabata Painting School. He studied Western-style painting (Yōga) with Umehara Ryuzauro and started work in oils. He learned woodblock techniques via his association with the Yoyogi Group of print artists who met at Hiratsuka’s house in the 1930s, and by 1940 Maeda was solely working as a printmaker.
Maeda joined the Ichimoku-kai1 (First Thursday Society), a sosaku-hanga group led by Onchi Koshiro. He contributed to One Hundred New Views of Japan in 1940, the two Kitsutsuki Hanga-shu collections (1942-3) and nos 3-6 of the Ichimokushu collections (1947-50), as well as Tokyo Kaiko Zue (Scenes of Lost Tokyo) (1945) and Nihon Minzoku Zufu (1946).
Public collections with works by Maeda Masao include the Art Institute of Chicago; British Museum, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Chiba City Art Museum; Harvard Art Museum; Honolulu Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Portland Art Museum; and Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art.