Lot 1


Woodblock print, colour on paper, jizuri 自摺 (self-printed) mark to left margin, 20.1" x 14.2" — 51 x 36 cm.

This is an exquisite example of Hiroshi Yoshida’s characteristic and singular style. Born in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka in 1876, he demonstrated an early aptitude for art that was encouraged by his adoptive father, a painting teacher. At the age of nineteen, Hiroshi Yoshida was sent to Kyoto to study under Tamura Shoryo, a renowned teacher of Western-style painting. From Kyoto, he moved to Tokyo where he studied under Koyama Shotaro, another prominent Western-style painter, for a further three years.

This early training in oil painting shaped Yoshida’s artistic style. While much of his work employed the traditional Japanese woodblock method, his colour application and subject matter revealed his strong Western influence. Throughout his career, Yoshida also traveled extensively, and these destinations featured prominently in several print series. In 1899, Yoshida had his first American exhibition at the Detroit Museum of Art (now Detroit Institute of Art), after which he traveled to Boston, Washington, D.C., Providence and Europe. He returned to Japan in 1925, and this prolonged interaction with North American culture and landscapes was translated into an American print series, consisting of six iconic scenes: The Honolulu Aquarium, El Capitan (Yosemite), The Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Mount Rainier and Moraine Lake.

Yoshida’s travels continued throughout his career, and were depicted in various print series, including that of 1931 which features scenes from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Singapore. However, some of his most iconic images were created as part of the Inland Sea Series from 1926. Composed of six prints, this series depicts a single sailing vessel throughout the day, revealing subtle changes in light, background vessels and the water’s surface. The present lot,
Morning, rendered in warm tones of orange, yellow, pink, purple and blue, is a striking example of Yoshida’s Impressionistic tendencies. The delicate changes in light over the water’s surface are reminiscent of Monet’s masterpieces. Yoshida’s achievement of this impressionistic quality through the traditional Japanese woodblock technique is a stunning example of his tremendous skill and distinct aesthetic.

Estimate: $2,000—3,000

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