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Itō Nisaburō (1905-2001)

Prints in Collection


                
Biographical Data

Biography

Itō Nisaburō 伊藤仁三郎 (1905-2001)1

 
Ito, Nizaburo 1905-2001
Self Portrait, 1927
pigment on canvas/framed
J00725-001
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
The artist Itō Nisaburō (also written Nizaburō), best known for the shin hanga woodblock prints he designed for the prolific Kyoto publishing house Uchida Publishing, was also a talented painter in a style that combined Western yōga and Japanese nihonga painting techniques.  

Born into a merchant family in Kyoto in 1905, he attended the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting2, graduating in 1927 (the year he painted the self-portrait shown to the left) and subsequently studied at the Sannanjuku (Mountain-South-Studio) of the nihonga style painter Tsuchida Bakusen 土田麦僊 (1887-1936). Joining with other former students of Bakusen, he formed the Hakushūsha group in 1938 which held exhibitions in major Japanese cities.

His post-WWII painting has been described as exhibiting the "uninhibited brushwork of zen painting, followed by a period when he was influenced by surrealism..."  In the mid-1960s he was to create works inspired by Tibetan Buddhism and his work was to increasingly display an "esoteric, mystical tone."

In addition to creating quite a few prints for Uchida, he also worked with the print publishing company Matsukyū, established by the Kyoto artist
Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000), and may have self-published several woodblock prints.  It is not known if Nisaburō carved any of the blocks for his prints.  His print designs are occasionally confused with those of his fellow Kyoto print designers Kotozuka Eiichi (1906-1979) and Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000). 

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto lists 152 of his works as part of their collection3 and in 2005 the Chikkyō Art Museum (Kasaoka City) held a retrospective of his 80-year painting career.

A Few of the Artist's Prints 

untitled
early showa period
woodcut on paper
P01200-001
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
 
Kiyomizu Temple,
c. 1950s
Publisher: Matsukyu
Artelino archive website
 
Ariyama Hot Springs,
c. 1950s
Publisher: Uchida
Artelino archive website
 
Cherry Blossom at Omuro,
c. 1950s
Publisher: Uchida
Artelino archive website


Artist's Signature and Seals

 
仁三郎画
Nisaburō ga

三郎
Nisaburō with
"ni" seal 
 
unread seal
 
unread seal
 
unread seal

unread seal 
 
"ni" seal 
 
"ni" seal 
 
"nj ?)
unread seal


1 Note that Merritt in Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975gives the artist's birth and death years as 1910-1988.  The years 1905-2001 are given by the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and by the Chikkyō Art Museum which held an exhibition of his work in 2005.
2 Also known as the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts (now Kyoto City Dohda Senior High School of Arts)
3 See their holdings at http://search.artmuseums.go.jp/search_e/sakuhin_list.php?sakka=3031