Mokuchu Urushibara, Winter Scene, Westminster in London

£4000
SKU
Westminster
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Reserved

Artist: Mokuchu Urushibara (1888-1953)
Title: Winter Scene, Westminster in London
Date: c. 1928
Size: Print in frame: 52.8 x 39.4 cm, Frame: 87.5 x 62.5 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

mokuchu urushibara, Winter Scene, Westminster in London
mokuchu urushibara, Winter Scene, Westminster in London

Mokuchu travelled to London at the age of nineteen where he was among a group of woodblock print craftsmen who demonstrated printing techniques at the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition of 1910. He remained in London after the exhibition, restoring prints, making reproductions of prints, and mounting scrolls at the British Museum.

The atmospheric landscapes of the British Isles provided a fresh source of inspiration for Mokuchu who avidly depicted the misty streets of London. With first-hand knowledge of two different cultures, Mokuchu was able to fuse distant artistic practices and find common ground between Japan and the west, employing Japanese techniques to portray new subjects. The artist became an access points to the traditional methods of Japanese arts for the growing interest of English artists and created an exciting international dialogue between what had once been the inaccessible Far East. This keen interest to learn authentic woodblock printing, amongst other crafts by English art students and enthusiasts, allowed Japanese artists to experiment and preserve their traditional styles in a time when they were going out of fashion in their homeland in favour for more novel and Western artistic disciplines.

Mokuchu's efforts to provide an insight into his own traditions whilst curiously depicting his new environment has undoubtedly contributed to the active cross-cultural exchange between Britain and Japan today.

More Information
Print Format Other
Artist Name Mokuchu Urushibara
Title Winter Scene, Westminster in London
Subject Landscapes
Dimensions Print in frame: 52.8 x 39.4 cm, Frame: 87.5 x 62.5 cm
Condition Report Slightly faded.

Mokuchu Urushibara


Mokuchu Urushibara was a print maker best known for his landscapes and flower studies, as well as a series of black and white prints of horses. Growing up in Tokyo, he studied the art of carving and printing woodblocks from an early age. In 1907 Urushibara travelled to London to demonstrate Japanese printmaking at the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition. He remained in London after the exhibition, restoring prints, making reproductions of prints, and mounting scrolls at the British Museum.

The atmospheric landscapes of the British Isles provided a fresh source of inspiration for Mokuchu who avidly depicted the misty streets of London. With first-hand knowledge of two different cultures, Mokuchu was able to fuse distant artistic practices and find common ground between Japan and the west, employing Japanese techniques to portray new subjects. The artist became an access points to the traditional methods of Japanese arts for the growing interest of English artists. This keen interest to learn authentic woodblock printing, amongst other crafts by English art students and enthusiasts, allowed Japanese artists to experiment and preserve their traditional styles in a time when they were going out of fashion in their homeland in favour for more novel and Western artistic disciplines.

Mokuchu’s techniques are mentioned in Walter J. Phillips’s book on printmaking (who is thought to have received teachings from Urushibara). In addition to his own work, Urushibara is also known for his collaborations with other artists. His most famous collaborations were with the English artist Frank Brangwyn.

The start of World War II caused his return to Japan, but he kept in contact with his friends from Europe. It would be no overstatement to say he was an indispensable part of the European colour print movement, and that he had a profound influence on European colour printmakers.

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