Hasui was a great master of the twentieth-century shin-hanga (new prints) school. His talent for capturing a mood, illustrating a scene, and drawing the viewer into the image makes for some of the most appealing Japanese woodblocks ever created.
Born in Tokyo in 1883, Hasui was always interested in art. He studied ukiyo-e and Japanese-style painting at the studio of Kiyokata Kaburagi. He also studied Western-style painting for a couple years. He had taken over his family’s wholesale rope business, but it failed when he was in his twenties, and he turned to art as a career.
Hasui spent most of his adult life as a woodblock printmaker. Unlike earlier ukiyo-e artists whose landscapes typically featured famous sites, Hasui was one of the first artists to record the unknown rural places and urban corners that he found so captivating. He traveled often and recorded the scenic wonders of Japan with drawings and watercolor paintings, which became the basis for many of his prints.
In the face of rapid modernization during the twentieth century, Hasui's prints evoke a sense of nostalgia for old Japan and a respect for traditional culture. His romanticized views emphasize the beauty of the natural landscape; figures are absent or often small and insignificant in comparison. Hasui was known for his spectacular snow, rain and night scenes. These wonderful atmospheric landscapes are among his best work.
A prolific artist, Hasui created about six hundred woodblock print designs during his long career, the majority of them for publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. In 1953 the Japanese government bestowed its greatest artistic honor on him by commissioning a print, Snow at Zozoji Temple, and designating it as an Intangible Cultural Treasure.
Comments - Beautiful winter scene of a man rowing his boat across the water at Funabori as snow falls through the evening sky. A snow-covered pine tree frames the house along the shore, the warm yellow light from the glowing window reflected on the gently rippling water below. A lovely design with soft muted color.
Signed - Hasui, with red artist's seal "Kawase"
Publisher - Doi, later edition from original blocks
Artist - Hasui (1883 - 1957)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 6 3/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Stain on reverse, appears as slight toning on the front. Please see photos for details.