Hiroshi Yoshida – A Glimpse of Ueno Park (jizuri seal)

Out of stock

Additional information

Artist

Yoshida, Hiroshi

Condition

(B) Fine Condition, (C) Fair Condition

Date

1910s-1930s

Edition

Lifetime

Movement

Shin-hanga

Publisher

Yoshida Family Studio

Size

Oban (10"x15")

Subjects

Landscape, Shrines / Temples / Castle

From the series “Eight Scenes of Cherry Blossoms” (Sakura hachidai) and printed in 1935, Ueno Park occupies land once belonging to Kan’ei-ji, founded in 1625 in the “demon gate”, the unlucky direction to the northeast of Edo Castle. Most of the temple buildings were destroyed in the Battle of Ueno in 1868 during the Boshin War, when the forces of the Tokugawa shogunate were defeated by those aiming at the restoration of imperial rule. In December of that year Ueno Hill became the property of the city of Tokyo, other than for the surviving temple buildings which include the five-story pagoda of 1639, the Kiyomizu Kannondō (or Shimizudō) of 1631, and approximately coeval main gate (all designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan). It became one of the first public parks in Japan in 1874.

An early edition whose printing was supervised by the artist as denoted by the jizuri seal.

The Woodblock Print

This oban-sized woodblock is in fair to fine condition. It is pencil signed by Hiroshi Yoshida (as opposed to block-signed) and contains the Jizuri seal in the upper left margin denoting that Hiroshi Yoshida was involved in its printing. Beautiful and vibrant color, clean but discolored margins, and a clean verso. Some paper thinning, a small thinning/hole in the upper left quadrant but only visible upon close inspection or by the verso (right side on verso).

About the Artist

Hiroshi Yoshida (吉田博, September 19, 1876 – April 5, 1950) was a Japanese artist known for his landscape prints and paintings. He was one of the leading figures of the shin-hanga (“new print”) movement, which aimed to revive traditional Japanese printmaking techniques while incorporating modern influences.

Yoshida was born in Kurume, Japan, in 1876. He began his artistic training at a young age, studying under his adoptive father, a painter and calligrapher. He later attended the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he studied Western-style painting. Around the age of twenty, he left Kurume to study with Soritsu Tamura in Kyoto, subsequently moving to Tokyo and the tutelage of Shotaro Koyama. Yoshida studied Western-style painting, winning many exhibition prizes and making several trips to the United States, Europe and North Africa selling his watercolors and oil paintings. He played a leading role in the organization of the Meiji Fine Arts Society into the Pacific Painting Association in 1902. While highly successful as an oil painter and watercolor artist, Yoshida turned to woodblock printmaking upon learning of the Western world’s infatuation with ukiyo-e.

In the early 1900s, Yoshida began to focus on printmaking, creating his first woodblock print in 1904. He quickly gained recognition for his prints, which were characterized by their delicate lines and subtle use of color. Yoshida’s prints were also notable for their modern subject matter, which often featured scenes of urban life and travel. Following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Hiroshi Yoshida embarked on a tour of the United States and Europe, painting and selling his work. When he returned to Japan in 1925, he started his own workshop, specializing in landscapes inspired both by his native country and his travels abroad. Yoshida often worked through the entire process himself: designing the print, carving his own blocks, and printing his work.

Yoshida’s prints gained international recognition in the 1920s and 1930s, when he exhibited his works in the United States and Europe. He also traveled extensively throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, creating sketches and watercolors of his travels. Yoshida’s experiences abroad influenced his artistic style, as he incorporated elements of Western art into his works.

Yoshida often collaborated with his wife, Fujio, and his sons, Toshi and Hodaka, on his prints. The family worked together on all aspects of the printmaking process, from the initial design to the carving of the woodblocks and the printing of the final image. Their collaborative works are characterized by their technical mastery and harmonious compositions. Although he designed his last print in 1946, Yoshida continued to paint with oils and watercolors up until his death in 1950.

Yoshida’s works continue to be celebrated for their technical mastery and artistic vision. His prints and paintings are held in collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. Yoshida’s influence can also be seen in the work of contemporary printmakers who continue to draw inspiration from his innovative techniques and artistic vision.

All of his lifetime prints are signed “Hiroshi Yoshida” in pencil and marked with a jizuri (self-printed) seal outside of the margin. Within the image, most prints are signed “Yoshida” with brush and ink beside a red “Hiroshi” seal.  Click to learn more about differentiating types of Hiroshi Yoshida prints and seals.