Shiro - Born in Tokyo, Shiro Kasamatsu began studying art at a young age with the painter Kaburagi Kiyokata. He completed his first woodblock designs for Watanabe Shozaburo in 1919 after the publisher saw his paintings on exhibit. Shiro designed shin-hanga prints for Watanabe for many years, becoming well known for his romantic landscapes of famous landmarks and his scenes of traditional Japanese life. From 1952 to 1960, he created more than one hundred woodblock designs for the Kyoto publisher Unsodo. He also experimented with sosaku hanga or creative prints starting in the late 1950s, carving and printing his own designs. Shiro is regarded as one of the top shin-hanga woodblock print artists in Japan.
The Main Gate of Zojoji Temple, 1953 - Beautiful view of the main gate of Zojoji Temple in winter. Visitors stroll about the grounds under umbrellas, and a small dog makes his way across the scene at lower left. The imposing red gate towers above the figures, its tile roofs covered with snow and framed by pine trees. Snow falls quietly over the scene against a wintry gray sky. A lovely design, beautifully colored and shaded.
Signed - Shiro, with red "Shiro" artist's seal
Publisher - Unsodo, with publisher's seal in left margin, later edition from original blocks
Artist - Shiro Kasamatsu (1898 - 1991)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 9 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - Excellent overall with no issues to report;