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KUNIYOSHI Japanese Woodblock Print TROUBLE AT SADO 1831

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KUNIYOSHI Japanese Woodblock Print TROUBLE AT SADO 1831


Difficulty at Sado

Date: originally published in 1831 Iseya Rihei; this print c. 1920s published by Hasegawa, listed as number 359 in the 1930 Hasegawa catalog; signed: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga; sealed: toshidame in a square
Size: oban, approx.15.5" x 10.5"
Condition: VG, age toning and minor soils, uncirculated print
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso(see photos)
Documentation: illustration and description appear on page 188 of Heroes and Ghosts: Japanese Prints by Kuniyoshi, 1998, Netherlands.
Provenance: from the Robert O. Muller estate

Authentic woodblock print, nice impression, good bleed through to verso, by 19th century master Kuniyoshi. This print is one of the most sought after of all floating world landscapes.
THE SOLITARY FIGURE OF NICHIREN, sent into exile by the regent Hojo Tokumune in 1271, fights he way up a snow-covered mountain slope near Tsukahara on Sado Island. Snow falls from a dark sky. This one of Kuniyoshi's best-known prints. "Difficulty at Sado," was very popular in Kuniyoshi's time and even today is considered one of the finest landscape prints of the Edo-era by any artist.
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 Collection 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 collection of 20th century Japanese prints in the world, and the question of what would become of his notorious collection was a major topic among Japanese print collectors. The finest 20th century prints from his collection 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 collection were sold at auction and still more remains with his heirs. Several books have been published about the collection.

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