Snowy Night with Surimono (2 prints)
(Nuit de Neige )
with artist's watermark at lower left of his initials and name in kanji, JP Jaku Rei, some of the snowflakes are applied gofun (ground oyster shells) and the beam of light from the lantern is defined with karazuri (embossed) edges; elegantly pencil signed at lower left, Paul Jacoulet, with red artist's seal Jaku-rei (in the shape of a Takarabune- the treasure ship of the Seven Lucky Gods), the title printed in French in the lower margin, Nuit de Neige "Corée", and block carver's seal at lower left, Kentaro to (Maeda Kentaro, active 1924-61) and printer's seal Shunosuke suri (Shunosuke Fuji, active 1940-50), red limited edition stamp on verso, No. 325/350, published by the artist, ca. 1939; together with a small format 'surimono' version of the same composition (2 prints)
obaiban tate-e 18 1/2 by 14 1/8 in., 47 by 36 cm
koban tate-e 6 by 4 1/2 in., 15.3 by 10.9 cm
In 1934 Jacoulet completed his first print with Yamagishi Kazue (ca. 1893-1966), and henceforward devoted his efforts to meticulous printmaking. He became his own publisher, and worked with the best carvers and printers of the period, almost always including their seals on the front of his prints. He had paper hand-made in Kyoto with his watermark, and used only natural pigments and expensive embellishments such as lacquer and gofun. He was known for lavish printings, and yet frugally, would only print impressions as they were ordered or that he had already sold to his subscribers. He also employed a complicated numbering system, with different edition sizes in English and Japanese, but in general, only a maximum 350 impressions of any design would have been made, and often, far fewer.
This design was one of Jacoulet's most popular pre-war releases and remains one of his most recognizable works today. A small format 'surimono' version of this composition was issued as part of a set with four other popular designs and accompanies this print.
Richard Miles, The Prints of Paul Jacoulet, 1982, pp. 97-98, illus. p. 56, cat. no. 57
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (mfa.org), accession no. 50.2903
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site last updated
March 22, 2019
Scholten Japanese Art
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