Hiroshi Yoshida, Numazaki Pasture

Hiroshi Yoshida, 1876-1950

Numazaki Pasture
(Numazaki bokujo)

signed in sumi ink, Yoshida, with red artist's seals sairan (cutting brocade), and jizuri (self-printed) seal on left margin, followed by the date, Showa sannen saku (made in Showa 3 [1928]), followed by the title, Numazaki bokujo, the blocks carved by Maeda Yujiro, ca. 1928

23 7/8 by 31 1/8 in., 60.5 by 79 cm

Of the 257 prints that Yoshida produced in his lifetime, only eight were as oversized as the grand scale of this ambitious work. Although there were numerous technical challenges in producing woodblock prints on such large blocks, Yoshida and the artisans in his studio improvised a system. In order to maintain the alignment of the blocks three printers worked together to handle the large sheets of paper. The strength and stamina required to print across the broad surface necessitated that printers worked in shifts that changed every five sheets.

Dorothy Blair records in the original catalogue that accompanied the landmark 1930 exhibition at The Toledo Museum of Art that Yoshida produced only fifty impressions of this oversized print, although later Yoshida recorded 59 impressions (out of an intended total of 80).

References:
Dorothy Blair, Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 1930, cat. no. 312
Ben Bruce Blakeney, Yoshida Hiroshi: Print-Maker, 1950, pp. 11-14 (on producing oversized prints)
Tadao Ogura, Yoshida Hiroshi zenhangashu (The Complete Woodblock Prints of Hiroshi Yoshida), 1987, p. 95, no. 103
Carolyn M. Putney, et al., Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 2013, p. 307, cat. 319

$22,000




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