Hiroshi Yoshida, After Rain at Kagurazaka, Shin-hanga Landscape
Artist: Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
Title: After Rain at Kagurazaka
Published: by the artist
Original pencil signature
Size: 28.2 x 40.1 cm
Original Japanese woodblock print.
Yoshida Hiroshi was one of the leading figures in the Shin-hanga movement and successful from the early stages of his career. He was fortunate to have exhibited his paintings in oil and watercolour in both Japan and overseas and to have won numerous art exhibition prizes. Yoshida often worked through the entire process himself: designing the print, carving his own blocks, and printing his work.
The main road of Kagurazaka was once at the outer edge of Edo Castle and has always been busy because of this privileged location. In the early 20th century, the area was renowned for its numerous geisha houses, of which several remain today. Kagurazaka is also known for its ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurants) to be found in the winding back streets. In this print, Hiroshi Yoshida captures a moment in time after a rain shower in the evening, with dim lights from shop lanterns creating an atmospheric contrast. The road is beautifully rendered with an exquisite printing effect that suggests reflection in the water.
|Artist Name||Hiroshi Yoshida|
|Title||After Rain at Kagurazaka|
|Dimensions||28.2 x 40.1 cm|
|Condition Report||Fading, creases, wear on the margins, some stains, minor foxing.|
Hiroshi Yoshida was one of the leading figures in the shin-hanga movement and stands out as one of the prominent landscape artists of his time. Born in Fukuoka, he was adopted by his art teacher Yoshida Kosaburo. In 1893, he went to Kyoto to study yoga and nihonga styles of painting and often produced watercolours.
Yoshida’s interest in woodblock prints came only in middle age when he started collaborating with the shin-hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo. He created seven prints under his guidance, although the collaboration ended abruptly when the publishing agency was destroyed in the fire following the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. In 1925 he established his own workshop where he employed wood-cutters and printers while supervising every aspect of the printmaking process. The jizuri (self-printed) seal is found in the margin of prints which were made under his close supervision.
The artist was extremely fond of travelling and he embarked on many trips throughout his life, depicting locations in the United States, India, China, Korea, North Africa, the Himalayas and Switzerland. He was also a passionate climber, and most of his prints depict landscapes from his travels and alpine scenes from his mountaineering excursions. His style reflects his training as a painter and watercolourist. His prints display a wonderful choice of colour blending, while his skill at depicting the natural flow of water and reflections on its surface is remarkable.
Many of Hiroshi's prints were exported and became popular in the West. He was fortunate to have exhibited his paintings in oil and watercolour in both Japan and overseas and to have won numerous art exhibition prizes. He was one of the few shin-hanga artists to sign his works in English. His sons, Toshi Yoshida and Hodaka Yoshida, became great artists in their own right.