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Autumn at Lake Towada

Girl in New Year Clothes

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Autumn at Lake Towada

by Yasui Sōtarō, 1935


IHL Cat. #1111

About This Print

A bold color statement by Yasui, demonstrating his belief that prints were an ideal vehicle for "expressing things by lines and color."While I can find no mention of the influence, if any, of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), in the development of Yasui's print art, this print does remind me of Kandinsky's woodcut Oriental (Orientalisches), below,  appearing in the 1913 illustrated book Klänge (Sounds).

Vasily Kandinsky (French, born Russia. 1866–1944)
Oriental (Orientalisches) (plate, folio 18) from Klänge (Sounds)
Museum of Modern Art Number:858.1964.15

Yasui designed at least sixteen woodblock prints that he then had carved and printed, under his supervision, by others. 

For more information on Yasui's woodblock prints see the section "The Artist's Woodblock Prints" on his biography page.

1Japanese Wood-block Prints, Shizuya Fujikake, Japan Travel Bureau, 1938 revised 1949, p. 137.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1111
 Title Autumn at Lake Towada 十和田湖の秋 (as titled by The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)
 Series n/a
 Yasui Sōtarō (1888–1955)
 Publication Date
September 1935 (Shōwa 10)
 Edition No. 21/P
Kyūryūdō Hassho 求龍堂發售[発書 alt.] きゅうりゅうどうはっしょ
And from the always helpful Asian art historian Lynn Katsumoto, the following comments on Kyūryūdō. "They are an old publishing house, specializing in art. Founded in 1923, sounds like they were a gallery, selling art. Oh, according to the Wikipedia page, the name was meant to sound like the German "curieux" where you could always find "the new." This is so interesting! It goes on to say that the 龍 (りゅ う; now written竜) - which means 'dragon' - was chosen for its old associations with the magical creature who could fly across the seas; in this case, to find the finest art publications from the West. Then they started publishing stuff too, and besides books, publish exhibition catalogues, calendars, posters, tickets, etc."
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - light handling creases; remnants of mounting tape verso top and sides
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print); moku hanga
 Format dai-oban
 H x W Paper 12 5/8 x 17 1/2 in. (32.1 x 44.5 cm)
 H x W Image 11 3/16 x 15 3/4 in. (28.4 x 40 cm)
 Collections This Print The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo P01540
 Reference Literature