Shinsui, Ito (1898 - 1972), "Morning at Lake Biwa"
|Title||Morning at Lake Biwa|
|Medium||Original, Limited Edition Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Series Title||Eight Views of Omi|
|Edition||First, and only. #29/200|
|Reference No||Catalog #14; New Wave; fig. 235, pg. 184|
|Size||9 x 12 -1/2 "|
Notes: Limitation number #29/200 on the reverse
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 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