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Hasui 巴水: Rain At Omiya 雨の大宮

Date 1930
Technique Woodblock Print
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Exhibitor Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints
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Artist: Kawase Hasui 巴水
Title: Rain At Omiya 雨の大宮
Date: 1930

Rain at Omiya (Miya no ame). This evocative work shows a rainy evening in a peaceful village in Saitama prefecture. The rain is printed in a fine silver/white, and falls straight down, indicating that there is no wind at all. We can almost here the crickets and other night-calling creatures. The many-layered design gives the work depth, even though it is done almost entirely in shades of blue; we see the reeds in the foreground; the glittering water of the lake, more reeds, the homes; a row of trees; another layer of trees, and then the background sky. Everything is also gently overlaid with rain. Completely unfaded, the light at the window shines in an orange/yellow that beckons to the viewer. This work represents the unbeatable caliber of prewar Japanese printmaking and two of Hasui’s strongest suits; evening and rain.  This work is from an early edition that was unnumbered, published by both Sakai and Kawaguchi, prior to the breakup of their partnership in 1931. The names of both Kawaguchi and Sakai are written horizontally, bottom left. The seal in the left margin contains the names of the printer and carver, also indicating an early edition. For this design there are two numbered editions that were published by both Kawaguchi and Sakai, but those were most certainly intended primarily for export, as it was the westerners who had an attachment to numbered editions. As numbered editions were a western concept, and a fairly recent one at that, it was not much of an issue to the Japanese.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Some light wrinkles to margin.
Publisher: Kawaguchi-Sakai
Literature: N#KS-14; H#215
Seal: Kawase
Signature: Hasui with his seal 
Size: 43 x 30 cm