Hiroshi Yoshida, Himeji Castle in the Evening, Modern Print
Artist: Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
Title: Himeji Castle, Evening
Date: 20th century (originally printed in 1928)
Dimensions: 26.1 x 38.6 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.
Himeji Castle sits on a hilltop in the city of Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture. One of the finest examples of traditional castle architecture in Japan, the castle is also known as Hakuro-jo (White Heron Castle), because of its brilliant white exterior and supposed resemblance to a bird taking flight. In this print, the artist captures the beautiful facade of the castle, with its imposing height dominating the surrounding area.
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.
|Dimensions||26.1 x 38.6 cm|
|Condition Report||Minor crease on the left bottom corner, paper residue on the back due to previous mounting. Posthumous.|