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HASUI - Japanese Woodblock Print PHONIX HALL Lifetime Edition 1933

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HASUI - Japanese Woodblock Print PHONIX HALL Lifetime Edition 1933

KAWASE HASUI

Phoenix Hall, Byodo Temple, Uji, from the series: Collection of Scenic Views of Japan II


Date: originally published 1933, published by Watanabe, this is a lifetime edition; this print is not known in a Heisei or 7mm edition
Size: oban, approx. 10.25" x 15.4"
Condition:
VG, light crease and slight pucker in upper right corner, glue spot in upper corners on verso, otherwise fine
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso; some color loss at upper left near margin
Documentation: Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints, Hotei, 2003

Byodo Temple, formerly the villa of Fujiwara-no-Michinaga, was converted into a temple by his son, the Kanpaku (Imperial Regent), Fujiwara-no-Yorimichi, in 1052, during the glory period of the Fujiwara family. Phoenix Hall was built in the following year. A National Treasure, it is the only building dating back to the time of the temple's establishment. Its graceful appearance conjures up a paradise dreamed of by the Heian aristocracy. The garden, designated as a special place of scenic beauty, is a relic of the Heian Period. This majestic garden centers around Phoenix Hall and incorporates the surrounding natural scenery, including the clear water of the Uji River and the mountains in front. 
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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