Providing fine art to collectors, museums, corporations, and the trade since 1977.
Specializing in rare 18th - 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints
Notes: Commissioned by the Mitsubishi Company as a set of eight woodblock prints to illustrate the Iwasaki family's Kiyosumi detached villa and garden at Fukagawa in eastern Tokyo as gifts for their domestic and foreign clients. Only the garden and one of the celebrated pavilions remain today. The family initially approached Kaburagi Kiyokata, but Kiyokata, himself not a landscape artist, recommended his pupil Hasui for the project. Published in 1920 by Shozaburo Watanabe, the commission added to Hasui's growing international reputation.
Neither series nor print title appear on the prints; the descriptions were written by Muneshige Narazaki.
Kawase Hasui, the eldest son of a merchant family, whose given name was "Bunjiro", tried his hand at running the family business, but turned it over to his younger sister and entered the studio of the artist Kiyokata at age 25. Kiyokata gave Hasui his artist's name in 1910. In 1916 he met the publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. In 1918 Hasui saw and was inspired by Ito Shinsui's "Eight Views of Lake Biwa" which were being shown at a Kyodokai exhibition. Hasui submitted sketches to Watanabe and so began the collaboration that started in 1918 and continued into the 1950s.
While the majority of his prints were published by Watanabe, Hasui also worked with Kawaguchi/Sakai between 1929-1932. This later venture was a result of the artists' need to raise extra funds for the construction of a new home he was building in Magome. Hasui moved to Magome in 1930 and began what he described as his most interesting artistic period. Over half of his more than 600 prints were published during the period between 1930 to 1944. In 1930, with the help of Watanabe, Hasui exhibited 92 prints in the landmark Toledo Museum of Art exhibition, which introduced his works to the West and led to his international recognition as a Japanese landscape print artist. Later, Hasui was recognized for his ability to depict snow scenes. Great Japanese scholars like the eminent Naruzaki Mureshige liked to describe Kawase Hasui as the "Artist of Snow". He became one of the best known artists of the New Print movement and was named a Living National Treasure in 1956.