Shiro Kasamatsu – Misty Evening at Shinobazu Pond


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Additional information


Kasamatsu, Shiro


(A) Very Fine Condition








Watanabe Shozaburo


Oban (10"x15")


Night, Shrines / Temples / Castle, Solitude

A breathtakingly delicate woodblock print “Kasumu Yube, Shinobazu Chihan” (Misty Evening at Shinobazu Pond) by Shiro Kasamatsu. Very soft and subtle spring image. Superbly elegant composition. Title “霞む夕べ”(Kasumu Yube), subtitle “不忍池畔” (Shinobazu Chihan), and artist name “笠松紫浪”(Kasamatsu Shiro) on the left margin. This is a later printing (1946-1957) as denoted by the Watanabe 6mm seal (1946-1957) on the lower-left corner of the image.

The Woodblock Print

This oban-sized woodblock is in excellent condition. Beautiful subtle colors, margins intact, no discolorations. 6mm Watanabe seal in the lower left corner. Clean margins and a clean verso. Possibly the most pristine copy of this print we’ve come across. Vibrant greens and yellows, subtle pink hues in the cherry trees along the treeline by the pagoda.

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.