Shinsui, Ito (1898 - 1972), "Ishiyama Temple"
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Series Title||Eight Views of Omi|
|Publisher||S. Watanabe Color Print Co.|
|Reference No||Catalog #15, pg.35; Catalogue of Woodblock Prints of Shinsui Ito|
|Size||12 -1/4 x 8 -1/2 "|
|Condition||Very fine, with superb colors.|
Notes: Removed from original S. Watanabe folder; never framed or displayed. Provenance: Purchased from S. H. Mori in Chicago, mid-1930s. Three generations in an American family collection.
Even within his own individual interpretation of the scene, Shinsui has created a quiet mood that clearly evokes the classical view of, 'the autumnal moon at night lingering on the peaks of Ishiyama'. This is borne out of his own description of the scene, 'This picture was made to satisfy my strong desire to reproduce the beautiful, sophisticated indigo-blue which is admired in the woodblock prints of Hiroshige'. - The New Wave; pg. 185
Shinsui's 1917, "Eight Views of Omi" is arguably the most significant print series the artist ever published, more challenging and more influential than his large body of bijinga prints. He made four earlier landscape prints, but those efforts do not really suggest the overhaul of that genre he would introduce in this small aiban-format series (Eight Views of Omi).
During the early 1900's, the publisher Watanabe Shozuburo instituted the third major revolution in the Japanese landscape print. A great admirer of both Hiroshige and Kiyochika, he decided to revive, and to reinvent, that tradition. In the process, he forcefully encouraged his artists to produce a distinctly new vision of the Japanese landscape even as it was informed but the models of previous masters. He wanted his firm's prints to be resolutely Japanese, but he also desired them to demonstrate an open-ended dialogue with the West. He experimented by commissioning two Western artists, Fritz Capelari and Charles Bartlett, but Ito Shinsui was the first artist to understand fully the publisher's vision. - Water and Shadow, Kendall Brown; pg. 35