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Portrait of a Boy (artist's son)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Portrait of a Boy (artist's son Yowsaku)

by Sekino Jun'ichirō, c. 1960

Outskirts of Nara

IHL Cat. #1696

About This Print

A portrait of Sekino's son Yowsaku, originally created in 1952 as both an oil painting and a woodblock print (see below).  Subsequently, Sekino created two additional states of the print, including this collection's print in which the background has been significantly altered from the 1952 print while the portrait remains largely unchanged, and can be considered the 3rd state of the print.  The first and second states of this print use a newspaper transfer process to create the background and the background on each of the earlier state print differs, as can be seen below. The second state of the print was issued in two editions, one of fifty prints and one of one hundred prints.

Oliver Statler in his 1956 book Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn notes on the artist states: "Ingenuous and friendly, he consistently manages to give the impression of fresh pleasure with the world, but nothing makes him light up like consideration of his three extraordinarily handsome and winning children, two boys and a girl, who have often appeared in his prints."1

The Oil Painting and Other Print States

Note: Descriptive information underneath the images are taken from the image sources

Sekino Jun'ichirō hanga sakuhin shū 關野準一郎版画作品集
[Jun-ichiro Sekino The Prints], Sekino, Abe Shuppansha, 1997, p. 193.
Oil Painting
画家の息子 1952作 The Artist's Son

Sekino Jun'ichirō hanga sakuhin shū
關野準一郎版画作品集 [Jun-ichiro Sekino The Prints], Sekino, Abe Shuppansha, 1997 p. 167
画家の息子 (後に「青い少年」 に改作
1952作 no. 125
48 x 39 cm
The Artist's Son (Later remade “The Boy in Blue”)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
My Son, 1956
 Image: 18 3/4 x 14 13/16 in. (47.6 x 37.6 cm); Paper: 21 1/8 x 17 1/16 in. (53.6 x 43.4 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Juda (M.79.176.67)

Berkeley Morrison Library
Graphic Arts Loan Collection
My Son (Gaka no shonen - Artist's Boy), 1956 Figurative Dimensions: 21.5 x 27.5"

Art Institute Chicago
The Artist's Son, 1952 
Color woodblock print
55.5 x 44.4 cm (21 13/16 x 17 7/16 in.)
Japanese Print Purchase Fund, 1953.442

Prints marked "Ilmé etat" [2nd state]
Note: 2nd state prints can be assumed to be printed by one of Sekino's studio craftsmen

Gaka no shonen (My son), 1956
annotated '12/50 IIme état' 
woodcut in colors with mica
18.25 x 14.5 in. (46.4 x 36.8 cm.)



1 p. 65-56.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1696
 Title  Portrait of a Boy (artist's son) (画家の少年)
 Series  none
 Sekino Jun’ichirō (1914 - 1988)
Jun. Sekino in pencil and stamped in ink
 準 Jun seal (as shown above)
 Publication Date  c. 1961 (The Carnegie Museum of Art which hold print 57 of 100, dates the print to 1952 as does the Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium which holds print 21 of 100.)
 Edition  80/100
 Publisher  self-published
 Carver  self-carved
 Printer  most likely printed by one of the artist's studio printers
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - minor margin trimming; minor foxing and water stain in margins
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Format  dai oban
 H x W Paper  21 x 17 1/4 in. (43.2 x 54.6 cm)
 H x W Image  18 5/8 x 15 1/8 in. (32.1 x 45.4 cm)
 Collections This Print  Harvard Art Museum 1974.102.77; Carnegie Museum of Art, 89.28.1204; Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium SC 2012.56.19
 Reference Literature  Modern Japanese Prints: The Twentieth Century, Amanda T. Zehnder, Carnegie Museum of Art, 2009, p. 157.
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