Kiyochika: Rain on Tsukimi Bridge

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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915)
Title: Rain on Tsukimi Bridge
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915 (1929)

We see a jinriksha driver, head down against the rain, pulling his rig at right across this scenic pedestrian bridge. His unseen passenger sits behind a rain cover, screened against the elements. A fine rain falls in straight, hair-thin grey threads in a soft diagonal. A pedestrian with a traditional umbrella walks away from the viewer, perhaps enjoying the misty view of the river boats in the distance. If this is the same Tsukimi Bridge that connects Okayama Castle and Koraku-en, today it looks much different, having been replaced by an unsightly steel structure in modern times. This series was designed by Kiyochika ca. 1913-1915, but only a few trial prints were published. In 1929  a total of 26 prints were issued, with the seal reading “Kiyochika Fukei Shin-ga hampu-kai” (Society for the Distribution of Kiyochika’s Landscapes). The works have a watercolor-like effect and a very pleasing palette.

The combination of Kiyochika’s designs with the unsurpassed skills and techniques of the early Showa-era printers gives these works a surreal and unique feeling, as if stepping into a nostalgic reverie.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (27.2 x 39.7 cm)
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Seal: Artist’s seals
Signature: Kiyochika