Hasui 巴水: Misty Night at Miyajima (Pre-earthquake) おぼろ夜(宮島) (Sold)

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Artist: Kawase Hasui 巴水 (1883-1957)
Title: Misty Night at Miyajima おぼろ夜(宮島) (Oboroyo [Miyajima])
Date: 1921

The iconic floating torii on Miyajima Island is shown offshore at night, its famous vermilion color not perceptible in the evening darkness. As Narazaki wrote “The Itsukushima shrine on a late, still and silent night. Deer walk aimlessly in the shadows. Two lights from the stone lanterns shine out as if cat eyes. This work illustrates a pitch-black night, one which could not be experienced in the city.” The overhanging pine, the lanterns, the deer, the flats and the foreground are all depicted in shades of blue, green and grey, accurate as to what the eye would discern in the dark of evening. Rather than showing his usual  human figure, Hasui has chosen to depict one of Miyajima’s famous deer, who are protected as shinroku, or sacred. Miyajima is also called by its formal name, Itsukushima, which was built by Taria no Kiyomori in 1168 during the Heian Period. Both the shrine and the torii gate are unique for being built over water, and at high tide they seem to “float”.   A scarce, pre-earthquake design.

Series: Souvenirs of Travel, Second Series 旅みやげ第二集 (Tabi miyage dai nishu)
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Verso is minor tape remnant.

Dimensions: ôban (38 x 26.5 cm)
Publisher: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Literature: See the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA, FAMSF, Toledo, LACMA, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts museum collections. Narazaki Muneshige, Kawase Hasui mokuhanga shu, 1979, no. 58. Kendall Brown, Kawase Hasui: The complete woodblock prints, 2003, number 58. Kendall Brown, Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints, 2014, plate IV.57.
Seal: Diamond Kawase seal
Signature: Hasui