Inuzuka Taisui: Hydrangeas (Ajisai) and Butterfly (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Inuzuka Taisui (dates unknown)
Title: Hydrangeas (Ajisai)
Date: 7/1929 (Showa 4)

A boldly patterned black and blue butterfly pauses on a cluster of hydrangea blossoms. The background is a soft pink that allows the flowers to stand out. The bokashi gradation on the flowers from white to deep blue gives the flower clusters a lovely depth. The publishers Kawaguchi and Sakai only worked together for a year or two in 1929-30, and the level of the printing quality is exceptional, even for this golden age of prewar 20th century Japanese printmaking. This is the first edition, with the names of both printers bottom left as well as the names of the printer and carver in the left margin. There is also the “Made in Japan” seal verso, which was applied to works intended for export in the late 1920s until about the mid 1930s. This work never seems to have left Japan, as it was recently purchased in Japan and has no sign of framing nor fading.

Dimensions: ôban (40.5 x 27.2 cm)
Publisher: Sakai and Kawaguchi 
Signature: Taisui with his seal Taisui

References:  See Minneapolis Institute of Art for the later edition by Kawaguchi