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HASUI - Japanese Woodblock Print - Snow at Heian Shrine, Kyoto 1948

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HASUI - Japanese Woodblock Print - Snow at Heian Shrine, Kyoto 1948

KAWASE HASUI

Snow at Heian Shrine, Kyoto


Date: originally published 1948 by Watanabe, this is a Heisei edition printed from the original wood blocks
Size: oban, with full margins, 10.625" X 15.5"
Condition: Fine, no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
Documentation: Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints, Hotei, 2003
THE HEIAN SHRINE is a relatively new shrine having been built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100 anniversary of the founding of Kyoto by Emperor Kammu (737-806). With the exception of a huge concrete torii, the halls and towers are all reconstructions on a 5/8 scale of buildings that existed in the Imperial Court in the Heian era. The complex consists of two main halls (east and west), two towers (the Byakko or White Tiger and the Souryuu or Blue Dragon), and the Ootemmon or two storied main gate, a replica of the main gate of the Imperial Court. Besides the buildings themselves, the shrine is also well known for its beautiful garden where wisteria, weeping cherries, and iris bloom in season.
ABOUT KAWASE HASUI
Kawase Hasui (1883 – 1957) was a Japanese woodblock print maker in the early 20th century. He and Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) are widely regarded as two of the greatest artists of the shin hanga style, and are known especially for their excellent landscape prints. During the forty years of his artistic career, Hasui worked closely with Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), publisher and advocate of the shin hanga movement. His works became widely known in the West through American connoisseur Robert O. Muller (1911-2003). In 1956, he was named a Living National Treasure in Japan.

Hasui worked almost exclusively on landscape and townscape prints based on sketches he made in Tokyo and during travels around Japan. However, his prints are not merely meisho (famous places) prints that are typical of earlier ukiyo-e masters such as Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Hasui’s prints feature locale that are tranquil and obscure in the then-urbanizing Japan. The dreamlike quality in Hasui’s prints epitomizes a yearning for the past and a preservation of the past in the midst of rapid modernization.


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