Toshi Yoshida, Irises and Ducks, Bird and Flower Print

£550
SKU
JG011931-1
free-shipping-auth

Artist: Toshi Yoshida (1911-1995)
Title: Irises and Ducks
Publisher: Yoshida family (Posthumous)
Date: 20th century
Size: 34.5 x 54.5 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

toshi yoshida, irises and ducks, bird and flower
toshi yoshida, irises and ducks, bird and flower toshi yoshida, irises and ducks, bird and flower

One of the most famous Japanese woodblock print artists of the 20th century, Toshi Yoshida was the eldest son of Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), one of the most successful printmakers in the Shin-hanga movement, who specialised in the subject of landscape. During his artistic career, Toshi Yoshida struggled to balance staying loyal to his father and developing his own style, while seeking how to renew the declining Ukiyo-e tradition as a Shin-hanga artist. Although he chose animals as his speciality in 1926, his early works through the 1950s, like 'Tokyo at Night' (1938), adopted landscapes in a style similar to his father’s. However, compared to Hiroshi’s elaborate, subdued and monumental landscape prints, Toshi’s usage of rich and profound colour succeeds in expressing candid traditional Japanese scenery.

In this print, Toshi Yoshida combines the symbolism of the iris flower with that of ducks. In Japan, a common iris definition includes the idea of purifying evil energies and protecting those who wear it. The iris flower is a common symbol found in kimono fabrics, as well as in paintings and the short Japanese poetry style known as haiku. Another auspicious motif, the pair of ducks and their ducklings symbolise a happy couple and a long life blessed with happiness.

More Information
Print Format Dai-Oban
Artist Name Toshi Yoshida
Title Irises and Ducks
Subject Modern/Shin-Hanga, Animal & Birds, Flowers & Botanical
Dimensions 34.5 x 54.5 cm
Condition Report Light crease on the top left corner.

Toshi Yoshida


One of the most famous Japanese woodblock print artists of the 20th century, Toshi Yoshida was the eldest son of Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), a highly successful printmaker in the shin-hanga movement, who specialised in the subject of landscape. During his childhood, an illness left him unable to attend school and he enjoyed watching animals and his father's printmaking workshop. Encouraged by his grandmother, Toshi often sketched animals.

During his artistic career, Toshi Yoshida struggled to balance staying loyal to his father and developing his own style, while seeking to renew the declining ukiyo-e tradition as a shin-hanga artist. Although he chose animals as his speciality in 1926, his early works through the 1950s, like 'Tokyo at Night' (1938), adopted landscapes in a style similar to his father’s. However, compared to Hiroshi’s elaborate, subdued and monumental landscape prints, Toshi’s usage of rich and profound colour succeeds in expressing candid traditional Japanese scenery.

The death of his father in 1950 marked Toshi's total break from his past and he produced a series of abstract prints. These experimental designs draw from expressionism and pop art with bold colour palettes. The respect for his father had kept Toshi away from trying it earlier, but after a few years he returned to his original realistic style and his innate affinity for animals and birds. From 1971 to 1994, until the last years of his life, Toshi worked almost exclusively on animal prints. Toshi was also a children's book illustrator. He wrote his own short stories and made illustrations in the ‘Animal Picture Book’ series. As with his father’s prints, Toshi signed his artworks in pencil and very often the titles provided are in English.

We found other products you might like!