Artist: Kawase Hasui 巴水(1883-1957)
Title: Benten Pond, Shiba 芝弁天池
Enveloped by nature, two kimono-clad beauties admire the profusion of lotus blossoms from a stone bridge on Benten Pond in Ueno. This is from the limited edition published by Kawaguchi ca. 1930, and numbered 184/350 with the sealed stamp, verso. Note that due to the popularity of this iconic design, there exist many posthumous versions of this work that were printed in the 1980s or even more recently. The first limited edition of this work was published jointly by Kawaguchi and Sakai during their brief publishing partnership between 1929 and 1930/31. Due to the generosity and friendship of the late scholar Hisao Shimizu, this dealer has had the opportunity to examine S &K published works in all three editions–S&K, Kawaguchi alone and then the postwar editions. When compared side-by-side, the Kawaguchi editions can even be superior in printing quality–but they are certainly equal–to the S&K printed works. The postwar printings are an entirely different story, and are lacking in the depth and finesse of the early editions, and the Heisei (or later) editions are not at all comparable to the original limited editions. We may note that the pink in the lotus flowers seems to be more prominent here than in the S&K edition. An example of the S&K edition of this work was sold at Sothebys in 2021 for more than $23,000.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Literature: N#KS-6; H#186
Signature: Hasui with his seal