This print shows a celestial being, an angel, playing the flute.
Designed and self-published by the artist, Shiro Kasamatsu was one of only a handful of artists that were successful as both Shin-Hanga and Sōsaku-Hanga artists. Published in 1962, this is a limited edition numbered in pencil 114/200.
Self -published print, Japanese title and dated “1962” in the bottom margin. Block-signed “Shiro Kasamatsu” and red seal at the lower-left corner of the image. Red tiny square seal “Shiro Hanga”, edition number “114/200” on the lower right corner. Extremely rare self-published print.
The Woodblock Print
This woodblock is in very good condition, with rich, strong color throughout the woodblock. There is toning to the paper, but it is even across the print with the exception being in the margins (it slightly darks towards the edges).
Imperceptible remnants from prior mounting, mild toning on the upper and lower margin, near the edges.
About the Artist
Shiro Kasamatsu (笠松 紫浪, 1898 – 1991) was a Japanese engraver and print maker trained in the Shin-Hanga and Sōsaku-Hanga styles of woodblock printing.
Kasamatsu was born in Tokyo in 1898, he 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. Almost all the 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 numbered editions).