Kawase Hasui: Bridge at sunset
Japan, Showa period, 1930s
Postcard sized colour woodblock print, ink and colour on paper, undated, 10 x 14.5 cm, undated, 1930s, Hasui seal at lower left corner, published by Watanabe, very fine condition, no flaws, uncirculated condition with fine impression, good registration and key lines, printed from the first edition wood blocks. Colour is fine, deep saturated colour and bleed.
Provenance: From the Robert O. Muller collection
View of bridge at sunset.
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) is considered one of the most important Japanese landscape artists of the 20th century. His prints, produced under the guidance and stern eye of his publisher, Watanabe Shozaburo, the key figure in the shin hanga movement ('new prints'), are the modern continuation of the unforgettable works by Hiroshige and Hokusai. Watanabe produced small prints in three different formats: octavo, postcard and koban. Collectively they are referred to as Hasui's postcard prints. They were marketed first in Watanabe's 1931 sales catalog. All of the postcard sized prints were unsigned and carry only the Hasui 9 or 10 seals (as found in Appendix III of Kawase Hasui: The Complete Woodblock Prints.) Generally they do not bear the Watanabe seal.
Robert O. Muller’s love affair with Japanese prints began one day in the 1930s, when as a student in New York he spotted a Hasui in a gallery window, and immediately arranged to purchase the print. When Mr. Muller passed away in 2003, he had left possibly the largest and finest collection of 20th century Japanese prints in the world