Hiroshi Yoshida, Fuji from Funatsu, Shin Hanga, Landscape
Artist: Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
Title: Fuji from Funatsu
Series: Ten Views of Fuji
Dimensions: 27.3 x 40.6 cm
Printed and signed by the artist
Original Japanese woodblock print.
A snow capped Mt Fuji looms over the small station town of Funatsu. Located near Lake Kawaguchi, a part of the Fuji Five Lakes, the scene is particularly quiet and still. The sacred mountain has been a common motif throughout Japan’s artistic history. Hiroshi’s depiction of it here is exemplary of the shin-hanga style of the early Showa period (1926-1989), rendered with a keen attention to realism and light.
|Artist Name||Hiroshi Yoshida|
|Title||Fuji from Funatsu|
|Dimensions||27.3 x 40.6 cm|
|Condition Report||Minor creases. Black pigment in the bottom right corner.|
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.