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WATANABE SHOZABURO (KAKO) Japanese Woodblock Print SUNSET GLOW 1st Edition 1936

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WATANABE SHOZABURO (KAKO) Japanese Woodblock Print SUNSET GLOW 1st Edition 1936

WATANABE KAKO (Watanabe Shozaburo)

Sunset Glow at Fukuaka West Park


Date: original March, 1936, first and only edition, self-published by Watanabe Shozaburo
Size: dai-oban with full margins, approx. 11.125" x 16.75"
Condition: VG, slight crease in lower right corner in margin, 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: The New Wave, number 174

Provenance: from the estate of Robert O. Muller (see below for more information)
One of only two prints designed by the great publisher and promoter of Shin-hanga prints: Watanabe Shozaburo.

ABOUT WATANABE SHOZABURO (1885-1962)
Watanabe Shozaburo was a Japanese print publisher and the driving force behind the 20th century Japanese printmaking movement known as shin hanga ("new prints"). He started his career working for the export company of Kobayashi Bunshichi, which gave him an opportunity to learn about exporting art prints. In 1908, Watanabe married Chiyo, a daughter of the woodblock carver Chikamatsu.

Watanabe employed highly skilled carvers and printers, and commissioned artists to design prints that combined traditional Japanese techniques with elements of contemporary Western painting, such as perspective and shadows. Watanabe coined the term shin-hanga in 1915 to describe such prints. Charles W. Bartlett, Hashiguchi Goyo, Kawase Hasui, Yoshida Hiroshi, Kasamatsu Shiro, Torii Kotondo, Ohara Koson, Terashima Shimei, Ito Shinsui, Takahashi Shotei, Ito Sozan, and Yamakawa Shuho are among the artists whose works he published. 


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 his 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.

 


VISIT OUR EBAY STORE FOR MORE WOODBLOCK PRINTS
AND BOOKS ABOUT WOODBLOCK ARTISTS

 

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