Cactus Mers du Sud
color woodblock print on cream wove paper with artist's watermark of his initials and name in kanji, PJ Jyaku Rei, pencil signed at lower left in the area of dark teal, Paul Jacoulet, with artist's 'sparrow' seal below, the title in the lower margin at right, CACTUS, Mers du Sud, and block carver's seal on lower right margin of Maeda Kentaro (active 1934-61) and the printer's seal of Honda Tetsunosuke (active 1934-60), with red limited edition seal stamped and numbered on verso, 258/350, ca. 1941
18 1/2 by 14 1/4 in., 46.9 by 36.3 cm
Jacoulet made the transition to painter to printmaker after meeting the artist and block carver Kazuo Yamagishi (ca. 1893-1966). In 1934 Jacoulet completed his first print with Yamagishi, 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, gofun, and mica. 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 combination of Maeda Kentaro's earlier carver seal with the printer's seal of Honda Tetsunosuke indicates that this in an earlier impression from the edition.
Richard Miles, The Prints of Paul Jacoulet, 1982, p. 107, illus. p. 62, cat. no. 79
Yokohama Museum of Art, Eyes Towards Asia: Ukiyo-e Artists from Abroad, 1996, p. 151, no. 209
(inv. no. 10-5302)
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Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
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