Kiyoshi Saito 斎藤清: Winter (Bridge) in Aizu 会津の冬

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Artist: Kiyoshi Saito 斎藤清 (1907-1997)
Title: Winter (Bridge) in Aizu  会津の冬
Date: ca. 1960

A villager wearing a straw cape is shown from behind, stepping across a snow-covered bridge towards the snow-covered thatched houses of the village ahead. His triangular shape is echoed by the strong, single-point perspective of the bridge, and we almost feel a part of his journey on this winter day from our view on the road behind him. Saito himself was born in Aizu, in the village of Aizubange, and we sense the familiarity of home within the landscape. Saito designed his first scenes of winter in Aizu in 1938, and returned to the theme with several series of this subject through the decades until 1996, almost sixty years later. The charm and folk-art feeling of Saito's work overlays a sophisticated mastery of design. Here the way that the surrounding forest has been depicted using various printing and carving techniques is most masterful, and we feel the weight of the snow on the buildings even though their shapes are communicated only using negative space.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: 29.5 x 42 cm
Publisher: Self-published
Literature: See Kiyoshi Saito Museum of Art, Yanaizu (1999), number 21. See Masteful Images: The Art of Kiyoshi Saito by Barry Till, page 32.
Seal: artist’s seal “Kiyoshi” in red
Signature: Kiyoshi Saito (in pencil)