Ito Shinsui, Eight Views of Omi

Ito Shinsui, 1898-1972

Eight Views of Omi: Miidera
(Omi hakkei no uchi: Miidera)

signed, dated and titled at upper left corner, Omi hakkei no uchi Miidera Taisho rokunen shichigatsu Shinsui (Eight Views of Omi, Miidera, Taisho 6 [1917], July, Shinsui), with limited edition publisher's seal hand-numbered on verso, Ito Shinsui ga, Omi hakkei, no uchi Miidera, surizuri nihyaku mai kagiri no uchi dai nijuichi ban (picture by Ito Shinsui, Eight Views of Omi, Miidera, limited edition of 200, number 21) with publisher's seals hanmoto, Watanabe

aiban tate-e 12 5/8 by 8 7/8 in., 32.2 by 22.7 cm

An evening view of rain at the Miidera Temple; a bell hangs from the roof eaves at the center of the composition. Much care was given to the gradations of colors on the print, with the background rendered in two blocks of soft striations of pale blue and pale grey, and the dramatic grey to black bokashi toward the upper edge emphasizing the weight of the nocturnal storm. Rather than using light grey or mica for the rain, it is instead achieved in the negative as white lines contrasting against the darker colors of the print.

In his early collaborations with Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), Shinsui produced both landscapes and bijinga. When Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) saw the prints from this series he was inspired to become a woodblock print artist himself. After Watanabe was able to add Hasui to his circle as a landscape artist, it seems Shinsui, already recognized for his depictions of women, became more defined as a bijinga artist, and produced few subsequent landscapes until the late 1930’s.

Published:
Iriwn J. Pachter, Kawase Hasui and His Contemporaries: The Shin Hanga (New Print) Movement in Landscape Art, Everson Museum of Art, 1986 , p. 43, pl. 13

References:
Kato Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, 1975-76, Vol. 1, pl. 174
Tadasu Watanabe, Ito Shinsui: All the Woodblock Prints, 1992, p. 31, pl. 14
Amy Reigle Stephens, gen. ed., The New Wave: Twentieth-century Japanese prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 185, pl. 237
Amy Reigle Newland, gen. ed., Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 2004, p. 108, pl. 96

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