Hasui 巴水: Snow at Sekiguchi 関口の雪

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Artist: Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) 川瀬巴水
Title: Snow at Sekiguchi 関口の雪 
Date: 1932

Snow falls in large, heavy flakes on an evening scene of gentle village industry that includes a sleeping water-wheel and a wooden pier above a deep blue waterway. The view is ours alone, as we don’t glimpse a single human or animal but we feel their absence. A comforting yellow glow comes from a single window, telling us that everyone has taken refuge inside from the elements. As Hasui’s initial designs of scenery in his sketchbooks were done out-of-doors, it must have been a very cold yet peaceful evening for him. Hasui could capture and transmit to us the beauty that he found in prosaic scenes of traditional Japanese village life. This work is known in several color versions--this one involves deep greys above and deep blues in the water. This deep grey version actually gives the most contrast against the falling snow as well as the strongest sense of atmosphere.  Beautifully printed, with the snowflakes all unique in size and shape and created using negative space within the layered blocks. With the earliest Watanabe seal for this work, with the seal used between 1928-1932. First edition.

Condition: Excellent impression and condition.  Very good color.
Dimensions: ôban (39 x 26 cm)
Publisher: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Literature: Kendall H. Brown, Kawase Hasui: The complete woodblock prints, 2003, no. 272a. Kendall H. Brown, Visions of Japan: Kawase Hasui's Masterpieces, 2004, p. 84, no. 48. Narazaki 334-a. See LACMA, Honolulu collections online. 
Seal: Watanabe Shôzaburô
Signature: Hasui