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HASUI Japanese Woodblock Print KISHO, NISHIZU 1937 'C" SEAL, 1st EDITION

$2,750.00

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HASUI Japanese Woodblock Print KISHO, NISHIZU 1937 'C" SEAL, 1st EDITION

KAWASE HASUI

Kisho, Nishizu


Date: published 1937 by Watanabe, this is a FIRST edition with the Watanabe "C" seal used from 1929-1942
Size: oban, with full margins, approx. 12" x 16.675"
Condition: Fine: no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
Documentation: Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints, Hotei, 2003, see page 498, illustration 407.
Provenance: From the estate of Robert O. Muller

ABOUT KAWASE HASUI
Kawase Hasui (1883 – 1957) was a Japanese woodblock print maker in the early 20th century. He and Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) are widely regarded as two of the greatest artists of the shin hanga style, and are known especially for their excellent landscape prints. During the forty years of his artistic career, Hasui worked closely with Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), publisher and advocate of the shin hanga movement. His works became widely known in the West through American connoisseur Robert O. Muller (1911-2003). In 1956, he was named a Living National Treasure in Japan.

Hasui worked almost exclusively on landscape and townscape prints based on sketches he made in Tokyo and during travels around Japan. However, his prints are not merely meisho (famous places) prints that are typical of earlier ukiyo-e masters such as Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Hasui’s prints feature locale that are tranquil and obscure in the then-urbanizing Japan. The dreamlike quality in Hasui’s prints epitomizes a yearning for the past and a preservation of the past in the midst of rapid modernization.


WHO WAS ROBERT O. MULLER?
Robert O. Muller’s love affair with Japanese prints began one day in the 1930s, when as a student in New York City he spotted a Hasui in a gallery window, and immediately arranged to purchase the print. As a newly wed in 1940 he went on a print shopping tour to Japan with his wife where he met the shin hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo and Watanabe’s stable of artists including: Kawase Hasui, Shiro Kasamatsu, and Ito Shinsui. He also met and befriended Hiroshi Yoshida.

After WWII, Muller continued to deal in Japanese prints, but he was also an avid collector with a keen eye for good art. Although the Muller estate is best known for shin hanga, Mr. Muller also collected late nineteenth century prints and good reproductions of famous Edo masters.

When Mr. Muller passed away on April 10, 2003, he had left possibly the largest and finest estate of 20th century Japanese prints in the world, and the question of what would become of his estate was a major topic among Japanese print collectors. The finest 20th century prints from his estate were given as a gift to the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and an exhibit was mounted. Other portions of the estate were sold at auction and still more remains with his heirs. Several books have been published about the estate.


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