A delightful image of barn swallows perched on a willow branch during the rain. Streaks of rain are overprinted in silver, fine detail and embossing throughout, original narrow margins. This image is not often seen.
An incredibly delicate and subtle chuban-sized woodblock by Ito Sozan, the “master” of kacho-e before being replaced at Watanabe by Ohara Koson.
The Woodblock Print
This o-tanzau-sized woodblock is in very good condition. Slight edge discoloration to the print from prior matting; a small notch missing to the top right corner margin. 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 Little known, his catalog of prints have been overshadowed by the more famous Ohara Koson as he also seems to have been replaced by Koson for his publisher Watanabe.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).