Evening Rain in Kawarago (Kawarago no yao) | Kawase Hasui | 1947

Hasui Kawase, 1883-1957 was a prominent Japanese painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and one of the chief printmakers in the shin hanga (“new prints”) movement. Kawase studied ukiyo-e and Japanese style painting at the studio of Kaburagi Kiyokata. He mainly concentrated on making watercolors of actors, everyday life and landscapes, with many of them published as illustrations in books and magazines in the last few years of the Meiji period and early Taishô periods.

In the early Taishô period, Kawase was recruited by the publisher and advocate of the shin hanga movement, Watanabe Shôzaburô, with the intention to design works for woodblock prints. Kawase worked with Watanabe Shôzaburô for forty (40) years of his artistic career. He left a large body of woodblock prints and watercolors. Many of the watercolors are linked to the woodblock prints. He also produced oil paintings, traditional hanging scrolls, and a few byôbu (folding screens).

In the West, Kawase is mainly known as a Japanese woodblock printmaker. He is widely regarded as of the greatest artists of the shin hanga style, and is known especially for his landscape prints. In 1956, he was named a Living National Treasure in Japan. This woodblock is referenced in Catalogue Raisonne’, Kawase Hasui and His Contemporaries, and Visions of Japan: Kawase Hasui’s Masterpieces.

This piece depicts a view of a rainy alley, a row boat pulled up on the rocks, with telephone poles against the dark sky. The blue/green tint emotes an even more isolated feeling of the scene. It is signed Hasui with the artist’s seal Kawase, the title “Kawarago no yao” on the left margin followed by the date, Showa nijuninen saku (Showa 22-1947). Likely a first edition with publishers 6mm round, seal type “A”, printed in red in the lower left corner. Condition of the print is Very Good with slight toning and mat burn on edges. Uncut and untrimmed, excellent impression. Dimensions: (oban tate-e) 15” x 10 1/2”.

Note: It would cost approx. $200.00 to reduce the toning on any woodblock and do not feel this piece requires its’ removal. Unfortunately, We do not offer that service.

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