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Hiroto Norikane, ‘Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons,’ estimated at $600-$700

July 7 auction explores innovative Japanese woodblock prints

Hiroto Norikane, ‘Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons,’ estimated at $600-$700
Hiroto Norikane, ‘Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons,’ estimated at $600-$700

NEW YORK – Japanese woodblock prints have a long and storied history that is rightly tangled up in the genre of Japanese art known as ukiyo-e, which flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. The powerful allure of the best examples still casts a spell, just like they did on the Impressionists, the post-Impressionists, and generations of artists who followed. Their innovative compositions, appealing coloration, and intriguing subject matter continue to draw new collectors.

On July 7, starting at 8 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will host a 95-lot sale of Japanese Woodblock Prints. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

First among the highlights of the sale is Village of Plums (Ume no Mura), a 1951 print self-published by Toshi Yoshida. He was the son of Hiroshi Yoshida, a printmaker who focused on landscapes. Hiroshi controlled Toshi’s artistic development almost completely until he passed away in 1950. Village of Plums captures Toshi Yoshida at a turning point; one year later, he would break entirely with the subject matter embraced by his father, but in 1951, he saw the wisdom in creating a series of 17 landscape works to sell to Americans stationed in Japan after the war. The print, which he signed in pencil, carries an estimate of $550-$700.

Toshi Yoshida, ‘Village of Plums,’ estimated at $550-$700
Toshi Yoshida, ‘Village of Plums,’ estimated at $550-$700

Born in Hiroshima in 1949, Hiroto Norikane graduated from the Sokei Academy of Fine Arts and made a name for himself as a mixed-media printer who combines techniques to produce his images. In 2021 he created Shoji 19, Dried Persimmons via etching and aquatint. Jasper52 is offering number 6 from a limited edition of 50 with an estimate of $600-$700.

Utagawa Hiroshige, ‘Hakone,’ estimated at $300-$350
Utagawa Hiroshige, ‘Hakone,’ estimated at $300-$350

Contributing the last of the three sale highlights is Utagawa Hiroshige with Hakone, an 1834 image from his Fifty-three stations of the Tokaido series; Hakone is the tenth of the fifty-three. This particular print is a 20th century impression from recarved blocks, and carries an estimate of $300-$350.

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