Hasui 巴水: Nara (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) 川瀬巴水
Title: Nara
Date: 1952 

Hues of deep green convey the feeling of late summer, as the eye is led towards the figures of a woman holding a parasol and a young girl in a striped summer dress. They walk away from us, and we can almost feel the heat of the late afternoon. A rather formal wall lines the opposite side of the road, perhaps surrounding an important historic structure of some type. Nara is an ancient capital city, and is home to the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hasui has chosen a quiet and hidden side of a famous city, his lens turned away from the famous shrines and temples towards the vignettes of everyday citizens. 

This work represents September in the 1953 calendar that was commissioned by the Pacific Transport Lines and published by Watanabe in an edition of 500 for distribution in the United States. They are surprisingly scarce to find in unfaded condition (as the Hasui scholar Hisao Shimizu explained to this dealer) because the great majority of the calendars were put on the wall and then discarded or damaged by long-term exposure. The title and artist’s name are printed in English at the bottom of each design. This design does invite the viewer in for a closer look, perhaps encouraging tourists to visit Japan on one of the Transport Lines’ cargoliners

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Mint.
Dimensions: ôban (26 x 38.2 cm)
Publisher: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Literature: Hotei #584. See Honolulu Academy of Art online.
Seal: Kawase
Signature: Hasui