Artist: Rinsai UtsushiCormorants1890Size: Oban. Approximately 14.5 x 10.0 inches.Publisher: Okura MagobeiMedium: Japanese woodblock print.Condition: Some soiling at right. Otherwise very good.
Rinsai Utsushi is known to have produced woodcuts in the capital of Edo (Tokyo) from 1869 to 1890. Practically all his art involved the study of the natural world. Most of his woodcuts were created in series form and bound into a 'gafu' (picture album), 'Ehon' (picture book), also known as, woodblock-printed book thus the center crease in this original example. This woodcut hails from Utsushi’s largest and most famous set of Kacho-ga entitled, Newly Selected Nature Studies, published in 1880. These full, oban sized woodcuts are masterworks of complex color shadings and tones and deserve to be ranked among the finest examples of late nineteenth century Japanese woodcut art. This woodcut is a striking example of Rinsai Utsushi's Japanese landscape art. The scene depicts a view of a snowy mountain in the distance yet, the main landscape is lush and green surrounded by the flowing streams of melting snow. Within the central part of this image, there is a small bridge covered in snow, built to reach a sleepy house by the shore. But, to make it clear that spring has come, in the forefront of this landscape, Utsushi has placed two beautifully colored pheasants surrounded by bushes with red, purple and white flowers and trees bursting with pink blossoms. It is evident that Utsushi's choice of line, form and color create a great impact upon this perfect scene.
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