highlights international perspective

Noël Nouët, (French, 1885-1969)

Scenes of Tokyo,Twenty-four Views: Kameido Bridge
(Tokyo Fukkei Zen Nijuyon Mai: Kameido)

Color woodblock print with zinc keyblock. The artist's name within the composition along bottom edge, 1936 Noël Nouët. The title on the right margin, Kameido. With publication information along bottom margin (reading Western-style, from left to right), Suri yokoi (printer Yokoi), To ike-da (carver Ikeda), in katakana, Nuetto saku (made by Nouët), and publisher, Hanmoto Doi (publisher Doi). With publisher's watermark, Do, in upper left corner. Published by Doi Teiichi, ca. 1936.

39.6 by 26.9 cm

Reference:
Nouët, Tokyo: Fifty Sketches, 1946, no. 45

Noël Nouët was born in Bretagne, France in 1885. He was first introduced to Japan via his mother's collection of Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) woodblock prints. He moved to Paris in his mid-twenties in order to write poetry, and through social connections he became friends with several prominent Japanese artists studying Western-style painting. This familiarity with Japanese nationals may have inspired his decision to go to Japan in 1926 to teach French at a high school in Shizuoka (near Mt. Fuji). A brief return to France was followed by a new teaching job at the Tokyo Foreign Language School in 1930. It was around this time that Nouët began sketching in pen and ink. His illustrations were used in newspapers and books, both in Japan and in France.

Nouët loved Japan and his adoptive city of Tokyo. Unlike many Tokyoites, he stayed in the city for the duration of World War II, even after his own home in Kojimachi was destroyed during a period of heavy Allied bombing in March of 1945. In 1946 he published in English a Japanese-style string-bound volume, Tokyo: Fifty Sketches, in which he presented a combination of scenic views of landscapes and cityscapes, alongside mournful views of the destruction caused by bombing, including the ruins of his home. Beneath a sketch of the subject of this print, Kameido shrine, Nouët writes: 'Things of the past. Kameido shrine with a famous wisteria garden, no more existing.' (no. 45).

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Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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