Hasui 巴水: Snow at Itsukushima 厳島之雪 (SOLD)

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Artist: Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) 川瀬巴水
Title: Snow at Itsukushima 厳島之雪
Date: 1932

Our view of the brilliant red torii in Itsukushima (also known as Miyajima) is framed by pine boughs that are weighed down beneath their snowy burdens as well as a tall stone lantern also covered in snow. In the distance are snow-capped peaks; our attention can’t help but be drawn to the bright crimson of the torii , its colors in sharp contrast to the white-blanketed surroundings. We see a single human figure in a small boat in the distance, but we feel that this stunning view is for our eyes alone. The construction of this famous Shinto shrine has been attributed to the contributions of Taira no Kiyomori in the 12th century, although it may date even earlier, to the 6th century. The coloration of this work seems to match the colors in Brown/Hotei, which has the skies and clouds done all in shades of blue. In the Narazaki example, the sky has more of a purple hue to it. As the red color in the torii  is unfaded in this design, one would surmise that a purple pigment would also not be faded, but it is very difficult to say with certainty. With the Watanabe seal on the lower right margin that was in use between 1930 and 1942;  we may consider this a first edition. A rather scarce design in this condition.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (26.5 x 38.8 cm)
Publisher: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Literature: Kendall H. Brown, Kawase Hasui: The complete woodblock prints, 2003, #287. Narazaki #340. See the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA Boston collection online.
Seal: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Signature: Hasui