Snow on Willow Bridge
(Yanagibashi no yuki)
a fine impression with extra grey bokashi (gradation of color) in the snow in the foreground and the open umbrella, and karazuri (lit. 'blind printing' or embossing) of the snow on the willow branches, ribs of the partially closed umbrella, and on the planks of the bridge; signed at lower left Shoson, with artist's seal Shoson, and publisher's seal at lower right, Watanabe, ca. 1927
oban tate-e 15 3/8 by 10 3/8 in., 39.2 by 26.4 cm
Ohara Koson was one of the most important and prolific kacho ga (bird and flower) woodblock prints artists of the early 20th century shin-hanga (new print) movement. He began publishing prints with Watanabe Shozaburo after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, around 1926. Before the earthquake, Koson published kacho-ga with Kokkeido (Akiyama Buemon) in Nihonbashi; Daikokuya (Matsuki Heikichi) in Ryogokubashi; and Nishinomiya Yosaku; always using the go (artist's name) Koson. When he began publishing with Watanabe Shozaburo, he adopted the go, Shoson. His prints are generally not dated and frequently without publisher seals.
Kendall H. Brown & Hollis Goodall-Cristante, Shin-Hanga, New Prints in Modern Japan, LACMA, 1996, p. 81, fig. 109, cat. 89 and p. 34 (detail)
Amy Reigle Newland, Jan Perree, & Robert Schapp, Crows, Cranes & Camellias: the Natural World of Ohara Koson, 1877-1945, Hotei Publishing, 2001, p. 159, no. 166
Carolyn Putney, et. al., Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 2013, p. 226, cat. no. 201
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