Contemporary Japanese Prints, Handmade Ceramics & Jewelry, Japanese Antiques, California Artists & Sculptors


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YOSHIDA Hiroshi
Born: 1886 born in Kurume, 1950 died in Tokyo
Medium: woodblock

Hiroshi Yoshida is one of the best known modern Japanese printmakers. His work is classified with the Shin Hanga (new print) movement. Yoshida first studied western style painting, in both oil and watercolor media. Then in 1920 he began printmaking and did designs published by Shozaburo Watanabe. After the great Tokyo earthquake of 1923, Yoshida published his own woodblock prints. An inveterate traveler who had first visited the US and Europe in 1899, Yoshida created many landscapes of scenes in Europe, America, South Asia and Egypt, as well as more typical Japanese views. His prints usually have a strong romantic appeal without being self-consciously “touristy.” Titles were often given in English, and many of his prints were bought by visiting westerners.

Hiroshi Yoshida supervised every stage of woodblock production: design, carving, printing and distribution. Those impressions that passed his express approval were marked with the jizuri (self-printed) seal. The artist was adept at providing both subtley of color and detail in his designs, and the evocative images continue to have broad appeal. He was the founder of what was to become a family dynasty of woodblock printmakers, including his sons Toshi and Hodaka.

He is famous for several series that explored the same theme at different times of day, such as the Sphinx, the Taj Mahal and Sail Boats. The same blocks were used, but with different inks to depict the light quality typical of evening, morning or afternoon.

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