Spring Night on Ginza by Kasamatsu
15 1/2" by 10 1/8" later edition
Shin Hanga, or “new prints” incorporated Western tastes and eye for beauty into traditional Japanese art. Their popularity is largely due to the efforts of Shozaburo Watanabe, a keen businessman who gathered young artists around him to learn the new European concepts of perspective, light and shade. Today, Shoichiro Wantanbe continues the long family tradition, and still issues Hasui prints from the original woodblock designs.
Shiro Kasamatsu (1894-1992) began studying painting and woodblock printing with Kaburagi Kiyokata at the age of 13. He started creating woodblock prints for the publisher Watanabe from 1919 to the late 1940's, producing over 50 prints. When fire destroyed Wantanabe's workshop during the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, his woodblocks were destroyed.
Soon after, he changed publishers to Unsodo in Kyoto, creating 102 prints in eight years. He later progressed to the Sosaku Hanga style, making about 80 prints. He covered a wide range of subjects, with intense colors and beautiful night, animal & bird scenes.
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