Also referred to as “Cat & Leeks”, “Moonlit Cat”, and “Leek Flowers”, a black cat stalks through tall flowering leeks in the dark. One of the most highly sought after sosaku-hanga prints by Shiro Kasamatsu
This print was designed and self-published by the artist, one of only a handful of artists that were successful as both Shin-Hanga and Sōsaku-Hanga artists. Published in 1958, this is a limited edition, C edition, numbered in margin “114/200”. Red “Shiro Hanga” seal.
The Woodblock Print
This woodblock is in very fine condition, with rich, strong color throughout the woodblock. A clean verso, intact margins, deckled edges. Kento cutout in the lower corner. Toning line in the margins but does not impact the image.
About the Artist
Shiro Kasamatsu (笠松 紫浪, 1898-1991) was a Japanese engraver and print maker trained and excelled in the Shin-Hanga and Sōsaku-Hanga styles of woodblock printing.
Shiro was born in Tokyo in 1898, and was apprenticed at the age of 13 to Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878–1973), a traditional master of bijin-ga. Kasamatsu however took an interest in landscape and was given the pseudonym “Shiro” by his teacher. Kasamatsu made woodblock prints for the publisher Shōzaburō Watanabe from 1919 until the late 1940s. All of the earlier woodblocks were destroyed in a fire in Watanabe’s print shop following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Around 50 prints were published by Watanabe by the late 1940s. Kasamatsu began to partner with Unsodo in Kyoto from the 1950s and produced nearly 102 prints by 1960. He also began to print and publish on his own in the Sōsaku-Hanga style, producing nearly 80 Sōsaku-Hanga prints between 1955 and 1965 (pencil signed and numbered editions).
Shiro Kasamatsu is unique within modern Japanese woodblock printmakers in that he is equally well-regarded for both his shin-hanga and sosaku-hanga prints.