Hasui

Kawase Hasui

1883-1957

Fuji River
(Fujikawa)

signed Hasui with artist's seal Kawase, the title on the left margin Fujikawa, followed by the date, Showa hachinen nigatsu hatsuka sha (Showa 8 [1933], 2nd month, 20th day, sketched), with publisher's seal on the lower right margin, Hanken shoyu Watanabe Shozaburo (Copyright ownership Watanabe Shozaburo), 1933

obaiban yoko-e 15 1/8 by 21 1/2 in., 38.4 by 54.5 cm

By the mid to late 1920s technical innovations had made large-format woodblock printing a possibility, albeit a complicated and expensive endeavor with an uncertain financial benefit. Although larger prints have obvious visual impact, they weren't necessarily easier to sell being somewhat harder to store, ship, and of course, offered at a higher price point. As such, it is not surprising that the publisher Watanabe rarely ventured beyond the oban (approximately 15 by 10 in.) size which was a standard sheet size since the late 18th century.

This print is one of the few obaiban (double oban, approximately 15 by 20 in.) size that Watanabe produced with Hasui. It was released in two variants; the alternate variant has red coloration on the peak of Mount Fuji and the addition of a cloud block in the sky. This impression, with a peachy-yellow sky differs slightly from the standard yellow sky found in published examples. The large format prints were likely printed in comparatively small quantities due to the financial and technical challenges inherent in their production. Both versions were included in the 1936 shin-hanga show at Toledo Museum of Art, Modern Japanese Prints: Woodblock Prints by Ten Artists of the Work of the Past Five Years, which built on the success of the landmark 1930 exhibition. This impression, with a peachy-yellow sky differs slightly from the standard yellow sky found in published examples. The large format prints were likely printed in comparatively small quantities due to the financial and technical challenges inherent in their production.

References:
Narazaki Muneshige, Kawase Hasui mokuhanga shu, 1979, p. 90, no. 254
Kendall H. Brown, Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints, 2003, p. 448, no. 315
Shimada City Museum, Kawase Hasui, The Landscape Woodblock Prints of the Taisho and Showa Periods, 2005, p. 88, no. 153a
Chiba City Museum of Art, Kawase Hasui, NHK Service Center, 2013, p. 146, no. 146-1
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, 2015, p. 168, no. 125

(inv. no. C-2030)

price: Sold

kikumon

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