Egrets in Rain

Herons in Reeds

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Egrets in Rain

by Ohara Shōson, originally 1926

Rabbits with Bush Clover Under Full Moon
IHL Cat. #1912

About This Print

Originally issued in 1926, this collection's print is a later edition issued after 1957, but likely before 1985.  At least four different editions of this print exist bearing different Watanabe publisher seals - the first edition bearing the Watanabe B type seal, used approximately between 1924-1930; an edition bearing the Watanabe E type seal, used approximately between 1931-1941; this collection's edition bearing the Watanabe I type seal, used starting in approximately 1957; and a current edition with the Watanabe M type Heisei seal, used from 1989 to the present.  (For more information on the markings used by the publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō see the article on this site titled Watanabe Shōzaburō (Publisher) (1885-1962).  An original 1926 edition from the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art is shown below.

First edition with Watanabe B type seal bottom of left margin


Source: Crows, Cranes & Camellias: The Natural World of Ohara Koson 1877-1945,
 Amy Reigle Newland, Jan Perrée, Robert Schaap, Hotei Publishing, 2003, pl. 154.
Two little egrets (Egretta garzetta) are depicted in flight past a green willow.  The open beak of the left bird reveals a red-purple tongue. Later printings utilize a brighter green and lack the subtle grey shading of the background [of the first edition.  See above.]

Catalogue Entry from The Toledo Art Museum Show 1930 

(notes on the original edition)

One of twenty-one prints by Shōson that were shown in the first shin hanga exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1930.

Source: Modern Japanese Prints, Dorothy Blair, re-print of the 1931 and 1936 exhibition catalogues, The Toledo Museum of Art, 1997, figure 175.

175 WHITE HERONS AND WILLOW (Yanagi ni Shira-Sagi) Two white flying herons against sweeping green willow branches with a greyed-green background shading to very light grey.  Feathers outlines in grey; grey legs, yellow claws; yellow eyes rimmed with green; yellow and grey beaks.  Open beak exposing brilliant red-purple tongue. Signed “Shoson”; also artist’s seal.  In Margin, imprint copyright stamp of Watanabe-Shozaburo, publisher. Edition, 100 impressions; issued in 1926. 14 11/32” x 9 9/16”.


Scanned, cropped and annotated from Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Carol M. Putney, et. al., Toledo Museum of Art, 2014


Print Details
 IHL Catalog  #1912
 Title  Egrets in Rain (untitled) Yanagi ni shira-sagi 柳に白鷺
 [also titled in English "White Herons and Willow in Rain" in the Watanabe 1936 catalog.]
 Series  
 Catalogue Raisonné  pl. #S-14.6 and cat. #158 (as listed in Crows, Cranes & Camellias: The Natural World of Ohara Koson 1877-1945);  Catalogue of Wood-Cut Colour Prints of S. Watanabe, 1936, p. 97, cat. O8 titled ""Wild-Geese flying over reeds"
 Artist 
 Ohara Koson (1877 - 1945)
 Signature 
Shōson 祥邨
 Seal  Shōson 祥邨
 Date  originally issued 1926
 Edition  Later edition (after 1957) with black circular 7 mm Watanabe type-I seal in lower right hand corner of image. 
 Publisher
Watanabe Shōzaburō
ワタナベ [Watanabe]
Watanabe "I type" 7mm round seal
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - 3 tape remnants top margin verso
 Miscellaneous  
 Genre  shin-hanga (new prints)
 Format  oban-tate
 H x W Paper  15 3/8 x 10 5/16 in. (39.1 x 26.2 cm)
 H x W Image  14 1/16 x 9 3/8 in. (35.7 x 23.8 cm)
 Collections This Print  Rijksmuseum RP-P-1999-376 (type B seal, first edition); Toledo Museum of Art 1930, no. 180 (type B seal, first edition)
 Reference Literature
Catalogue Raisonné: Crows, Cranes & Camellias: The Natural World of Ohara Koson 1877-1945, Amy Reigle Newland, Jan Perrée, Robert Schaap, Hotei Publishing, 2001, S14.6 (cat. 158), pictured p. 154; Modern Japanese Prints, Dorothy Blair, re-print of the 1931 and 1936 exhibition catalogs, The Toledo Museum of Art, 1997, figure 180; Fresh Impressions: Early Modern Japanese Prints, Carol M. Putney, et. al., Toledo Museum of Art, 2014, Cat. 182, p. 215.
Comments