Akamatsu Rinsaku 赤松麟作: Kobe Wharf (Sold)

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Artist: Akamatsu Rinsaku 赤松麟作 (1878-1953)
Title:  Kobe Wharf

This charming scene of foreigners on a busy wharf in Kobe draws heavily from the style of 19th century European art. We see a red-haired man and his wife and two children in western dress. They face the camera, and two large pieces of well-traveled luggage may be seen lower let, along with a bird in a cage. Behind them in more drab colors we see Japanese people in the process of boarding several boats. The young girl’s orange coat and red hat are a bright focal point. This series (Hanshin meisho zue), “Views of famous places in the vicinity of Osake and Kobe” was published at about the same time as early prints published by Watanabe Shôzaburô, the father of the shin hanga genre. The publisher was known for his adherence to high printing standards; so much so that he was always facing bankruptcy due to his high production costs. This series of 30 prints was designed by five different artists.

Date: 1916
Signed:  Artist's seal of Akamatsu Rinsaku  Size: 31.3 x 20.6 cm
Publisher: Kanao Bun’emon (Bun’en Do)
Literature: Smith, Lawrence, 'Modern Japanese Prints 1912-1989: Woodblocks and Stencils', BMP, London, 1994, p. 21 and no. 26. Mitchell, C. H., "Hanshin Meisho Zue: A Little-Known Early Shin Hanga Series", 'Essays on Japanese Art Presented to Jack Hillier', Robert G. Sawers, London, 1982, pp. 118-24.