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Mera Cape, Izu

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Mera Cape, Izu (妻良岬  伊豆)

by Hiratsuka Un'ichi, 1929


IHL Cat. #1226

About This Print

A view of Mera Cape on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.  The time of day is either sunrise or sunset and small fishing boats are on the bay.  The rectangular flat object next on the far right of the print may be one of the artificial reefs built to protect the harbor.

Hiratsuka was most interested in portraying the essence of objects rather than realistic renderings and he often used the color yellow for both the sea and sky in his color landscapes of the 1920s and 30s.  To quote the artist: 
Western art gave me my technique, but Japanese art gave me my approach.  So my light isn't real sunlight and my shadows aren't real shadows.  They are creations of my own and I use them freely to help me get at the soul of whatever subject I'm handling.1

This print was part of the artist's 2001 retrospective exhibition "Hiratsuka: Modern Master," organized by the Art Institute of Chicago.2  The exhibition print, shown below, is titled, dated and hand signed by the artist, while this collection's print is not.  It should also be noted that the artist's stamped name 平塚運一 appears in the left margin of the exhibition print and in the right margin of this collection's print.

artist's annotations on bottom margin read: 
妻良岬 伊豆, Un-ichi Hiratsuka, 1929
click on image to enlarge

1 Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn, Oliver Statler, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1956, p. 38-39.
2 See Reference Literature below for the catalog details.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1226
 Title Mera Cape, Izu (妻良岬  伊豆; Mera-misaki, Izu)
 Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997)
平塚運一 Hiratsuka Un'ichi stamped in lower right margin
運 "Un" seal stamped in lower right of image
 Date 1929
 Edition unknown
 Publisher self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - some soiling and minor toning; dark spot on verso left margin barely visible front; print has undergone conservation treatment consisting of surface cleaning and immersion in distilled water.
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Format oban
 H x W Paper 9 7/8 x 13 1/4 in. (25.1 x 33.7 cm)
 H x W Image 8 1/4 x 12 in. (21 x 30.5 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature Hiratsuka: Modern Master, Helen Merritt, et. al., Art Institute of Chicago, 2001, p. 51, cat. #10.