Hasui 巴水: Pier at Otaru 小樽之波止場 (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kawase Hasui 巴水 (1883-1957)
Title: Pier at Otaru 小樽之波止場
Series: Collection of Scenic Views of Japan , Eastern Japan Edition 日本風景集 東日本篇
Date: 1933, April

Two men, one in traditional Japanese garb, and one in a western outfit, seem to be waiting on a pier at night (for their ship to come in?), or perhaps they are just enjoying the view of the parade of fishing vessels as they return to port at dusk. The two bright streetlights create a vertical emphasis, in contrast to the pier that crosses our view on the diagonal. The scene is captivating in a quiet way. According to Kendall Brown in “Visions of Japan”, Hasui himself wrote that this was one of his favorite prints, as his own preference was for the tasteful, quiet and solitary.  (This dealer would add that perhaps in regards to the word “tasteful” that the artist meant  something akin to “subtle” and “refined”.)

For this artwork to be considered fully unfaded, as here, the purple in the sky and the bright orange and yellow in the water needs to be fully present. With the seal used by Watanabe in the left margin that was used between 1932 and 1941, so an early edition, one that also has woodgrain visible in the sky.

We will include gratis with this print a brand-new copy of the referenced catalog by Kendall Brown: “Visions of Japan: Kawase Hasui’s Masterpieces” (2008).

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (38.6 x 25.8 cm)
Publisher: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Literature: Kendall Brown, Kawase Hasui: The complete woodblock prints, 2003, no. 297. Kendall Brown, Visions of Japan: Kawase Hasui's masterpieces, 2004, p. 26 and plate 53. See MFA Boston, Toledo Museum of Art and Smithsonian Museum online collections.
Seal: Kawase
Signature: Hasui with his seal