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Artist: Ohara Koson (signed Shoson)
Snow on Willow Bridge
1927, published by S. Watanabe, with Watanabe "C" seal (used between 1929 and 1942)
full oban, approx. 10.375" x 15.25"
Condition: VG, toning, minor margin soils, drying hole in upper left corner, small adhesive residues top margin verso from original folio mount, "Made in Japan" stamp on lower margin verso, small gallery notation in pencil on verso Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso, goffun used to create part of the snow Documentation: Crows, Cranes and Camellias: The Natural world of Ohara Koson 1877-1945, page 159 (illustration 166); page 202 (listed as S44.3) Notes: Two women with an umbrella cross a bridge over the river, Sumidagawa, in a heavy snowfall. This print illustrates the yanagibashi ("the Willow Bridge") over the river Kanda near its convergence with the Sumida. Independent landscape scenes comprise only a small number of Koson's work. This image, in its simplicity and effective use of only a few colors, is one of his most beautiful designs. — from Crows, Cranes and Camellias: The Natural World of Ohara Koson 1877-1945

About Ohara Koson (1877-1945)
Koson, who also went by the art names of Shoson and Hoson, began his career in the studio of Suzuki Kason where he painted flora and fauna scenes from 1895-1902, and gradually became known as a nihon-ga painter in the kacho-ga (nature print) genre. During the Russo-Japanese war Koson produced senso-e (war prints), but the vast majority of his early prints (1900 -1912) were nature prints designed for the North American and European markets for the publishers Kokkeido and Daikokuya. These prints were all signed "Koson". Between 1912-1926 Koson returned to painting, but using the name Shoson, he continued to design woodblock prints, this time in collaboration with Watanabe Shozaburo. Koson also produced a series of prints using the name "Hoson” that were published by Kawaguchi between 1930-1931. While Koson's prints were always sold abroad, his ascendancy as the greatest Japanese kacho-e artist of the 20th century was assured by the success of the 1930 and 1936 Toledo Museum shin hanga exhibitions. More prints by Koson were sold during these shows than any other artist, due to their artistic merit and relative price in comparison with of the works ofthe other shin hanga artsits. Koson’s career peaked in the mid-1930's. His work is realistic, based mainly on his own sketches and watercolors