Obata, Chiura (1885 - 1975), "Merced River, Yosemite Valley (First State)"
|Title||Merced River, Yosemite Valley (First State)|
|Medium||Original Limited Edition Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Series Title||World Landscape Series|
|Edition||First State - #12/100|
|Publisher||Takamizawa Color-Print Studio, Tokyo|
|Reference No||Obata's Yosemite, p. 139|
|Size||17 -3/4 x 13 "|
Notes: A scarce limited-edition first state; #12/100. Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist. Brush signature in black ink, with red "Chiura" artist chop below. Titled in English on the Takamizawa Studio portfolio matte, "Entrance of Masedo River, Yosemite, Calif. U.S.A.".
Obata comments, "Clad in a misty autumnal vapor, the high cliff at the entrance of Yosemite Valley looks sleepily down at the murmuring river that flows below, singing a cradle song." The headwaters of the 112 mile long Merced River are in Yosemite National Park. It was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1987.
Begun in 1928 when Obata visited Japan, the World Landscape Series took 18 months to complete. The project required the work of 32 block carvers and 40 printers with each print requiring from 100 to as many as 160 impressions in order to accurately replicate Obata's original watercolors. The folio consisted of 35 colored woodblock prints. All but one show California scenes, and 27 are views of Yosemite and the High Sierra. It is believed that 100 folios were sent to the artist. Not all of the prints were signed and sealed. Each print has the publishers name stamped on the reverse. The folder illustration shows the publisher's watermark, visible below the title slip.