David Bull's Hyakunin Isshu - From 1989 to 1999, contemporary woodblock print artist David Bull created a series titled "Hyakunin Isshu" or "One Hundred Poems from One Hundred Poets," based on the famous anthology of classical Japanese poems collected in the thirteenth century. For his series, Bull based his designs on the masterful illustrations by ukiyo-e artist Katsukawa Shunsho from a book published in Edo in 1775.
David Bull lives and works in Tokyo, and followed the exact same methods of carving and printing as those used to create the original book. He carved each block from mountain cherry wood, and printed them on handmade Japanese mulberry paper (kozo washi). Each sensitive portrait is accompanied by a verse in beautiful calligraphy, the figures softly colored. The poets are drawn with delicate line work and fine detail, with individualized features that capture the personality of each scholar.
The original edition of 100 prints by David Bull sold out, but after an exhibit celebrating the completion of the series in 1999, so many collectors were interested in obtaining designs that he decided to issue a second edition of 100. David himself thinks that these prints are better than those of the first edition, because his skill in printing has improved over the years. The series title and number of the poet are embossed in the left margin of the print, with Katsukawa Shunsho's and David Bull's name embossed in the bottom margin, and David Bull's signature in pencil at lower right.
Artist - Katsukawa Shunsho
Carver/Printer - David Bull
Paper Maker - Iwano Ichibei or Yamaguchi Kazuo
No, the human heart
But in my birthplace
The flowers still smell
Artist - David Bull (born 1951)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 9 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. In pristine condition with no issues to report.