Hasegawa III, Sadanobu

Sadanobu Hasegawa III (1881-1963) is the third in a long line of Japanese printmakers, following his father and grandfather into the profession. Born in Osaka as the son of Sadanobu II, he was the student of Shijo painter Ueda Kocho, and later the student of Utagawa Sadamasu, becoming a member of the Osaka School. Most of the woodblock prints by Sadanobu Hasegawa III were made after World War II.

Sadanobu Hasegawa III worked to adopt the art of Japanese printmaking to the 20th century. Most of his work was commissioned by the Uchida company in Kyoto, one of the largest publishers of woodblock prints in Japan at the time. His technique followed the old Japanese tradition of hand making all of the blocks, while occasionally adding more modern features to some of his prints like embossing of metal pigments.

Sadanobu Hasegawa III adopted a style which was a combination of old okiyo-e traditions with a modern approach. His subjects included the traditional focuses of ukiyo-e tradition such as kabuki theater, the bunraku puppet theater, beautiful girls from Kyoto, as well as scenes and events from Japan’s medieval history and legends. His work primarily catered to the foreign market, and his selections of colors and subjects almost portrayed a Disneyland image of Japan.

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