Hansen: Asa [Sailboats: Morning], from the series Seto Naikai Shū [Inland Sea Collection], 1926
Color woodblock print (woodcut) on paper
Mat: 28 in x 22 in; 71.1 cm x 55.9 cm; Sheet: 21 3/8 in x 15 1/2 in; 54.3 cm x 39.4 cm; Image: 20 1/16 in x 14 3/16 in; 51 cm x 36 cm
Gift of Dorothy L. Blair (Class of 1914)
Yoshida Hiroshi was a rebel; instead of following the centuries-old Yoshida family tradition of painting on scrolls and screens, Hiroshi turned to printmaking. Trained as a Western-style landscape painter and watercolorist, Hiroshi introduced Impressionist techniques to Japanese woodblock printing—adding soft lines and naturalistic light to create depth.
These prints were based on sketches from Hiroshi’s travels to the Inland Sea of Japan. Each print was individually colored to reflect a different time of day: morning, forenoon, and night. Hiroshi combined traditional ukiyo-e workshop collaboration with the avant-garde sōsaku-hanga concept of individualism—as he hired designers, engravers, and publishers, yet oversaw every step of the printmaking process himself. Faint traces of graphite are indications of Hiroshi's meticulous review of each print. Created against the backdrop of the Meiji Restoration, Hiroshi's prints were a nostalgic tribute to pre-industrial Japan.
-Rachel Kim ’21, Student Guide, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum