Japanese Woodblock Print entitled: Evening in Nara (奈良の夕) by Yoshida, Hiroshi


Dimensions: 15-3/4” x 10-7/8” (uncut)

This 1st edition Color woodblock print (jizuri) is by Yoshida, Hiroshi (1876-1950), who 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 watercolors and later woodblock prints. 

This print “Nara no Yoi” is a nicely illuminated nighttime image of the Nigatsu do Pavillion which is one of the important structures of Tōdai-ji, a national treasure temple complex and “Kansai District” in Nara, Japan. The woodblock has the Jizuri seal (self-printed) brush signed/sealed by the artist in the image; and the signature is hand-written with pencil, consistent with an original Hiroshi Yoshida print which was made under his close supervision. The piece is published by Yoshida Studio and can be seen in “The Complete Woodblocks of Hiroshi Yoshida”, #185 to preview all associated information.

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 a 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. His style reflects his training as a painter and watercolorist. His prints display a wonderful choice of color 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 watercolor 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.

Condition: Excellent, the impression is very fine, with skillfully executed “bo kashi” shading and detailed lines.  Clean front and verso. The piece retains its original craft/workmanship with no significant issues to report. The work is commensurate with age which suggests a slight degree of age-toning (yellowing) that corresponds to its vintage. (NOTE: The woodblock will come framed at no additional cost for we are in the business of selling artwork and not framing. The framing which was completed  upon purchase of the woodblock has served its purpose of protecting the piece from damage from sunlight and other environmental conditions.) Meets all the standards of the collectible shin-hanga woodblock print works on paper.