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Spring Rain at Benkei Bashi

Spring Rain at Benkei Bashi 弁慶橋春雨
by Asano Takeji

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Artist: Asano Takeji 浅野竹二
Title: Spring Rain at Benkei Bashi 弁慶橋春雨
Series: 10 Famous Places in Tokyo
Date 1st edition?1956
Publisher 1st edition?Self
Publisher (this edition)?Self
Medium (1st edition): Woodblock
Medium (this edition): Woodblock
Format (1st edition): Oban
Format (this edition): Oban
DB artwork code: 39819
Notes (1st edition)?Title Famous Places of Tokyo - Benkei Bridge in the Spring Rain
Artist Takeji Asano 1900-1999
Description "Tokyo Meisho no Uchi" (Famous Places of Tokyo). Benkei Bridge in a rainy day. Rows of blooming cherry trees are around the bridge which spans over the moat of Chiyoda palace.
Signature "Takeji ga-koku" on the bottom left and "Takeji suri" on the right margin.
Dated 1956.
Medium/Technique Woodblock print.
Width Item 15.4 inches = 39.0 cm
Height Item 10.4 inches = 26.5 cm
Width Mat 18.5 inches = 47.0 cm
Height Mat 13.8 inches = 35.0 cm
Notes (this edition)?The following information was taken from the original web listing of this artwork. Often written by non-experts, there may be inaccuracies:

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Date: 1956 Format: Oban
Publisher: Asano
Notes: A little-known and very rare series of prints by Takeji Asano.

Artist Bio: Asano Takeji was born in Kyoto in 1900 and studied art in his youth. He graduated from the Kyoto City School of Fine Arts in 1919 and subsequently from the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting in 1923. One of his early teachers was the artist and printmaker Tsuchida Bakusen, with whom he studied Japanese-style painting. Asano helped to organise the Kyoto Creative Print Society (Kyoto Sosaku-Hanga Kyokai) in 1929.

In 1930, Asano contributed several designs to a series of prints titled "Creative Prints of Twelve Months in new Kyoto" (Sosaku-hanga shin Kyoto junikagetsu). These prints were published by Uchida. The other artists contributing to this series were Benji Asada and Tomikichiro Tokuriki, also members of the Kyoto Creative Print Society. Asano's work as a shin hanga print designer continued throughout the 1930's, but along the way he learned the skills of carving and printing. This enabled him to create his own self-carved and self-printed series of landscape prints titled "Noted Views in the Kyoto-Osaka Area" (Kinki meisho fukei) in 1947.

During the 1950's, Asano designed numerous landscape prints for the publisher Unsodo. These popular landscape prints are still being reprinted today. Original Unsodo prints have the Japanese date printed in the margin, while the modern reprints lack the date. Inspired by the encouragement of the Lithuanian-American social realism artist Ben Shahn, who once visited him in his studio and remained his friend, Asano established a freer artistic style often featuring animals in bold colours, later in his career. Asano continued to work as a printmaker during the 1970's and 80's. These late prints were simple and often humorous, signed with the letters T.A. and the date.

This information has been excerpted from various web sources and from Merritt and Yamada's Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975.
浅野 竹二(あさの たけじ、明治33年(1900年)10月24日-平成10年(1998年)2月10日) 京都の日本画家、版画家。京都市立絵画専門学校で日本画を専攻、途中油絵に手をそめましたが、再び日本画に復帰、土田麦僊の率いる「山南塾」に入塾し、国画創作協会展に出品するなど日本画家として活躍しました。

The artworks displayed on JAODB are not for sale.

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Site copyright: Dr Ross F. Walker. Copyright of the displayed artwork: the original owner. The information contained on this website is provided as an educational resource to scholars and collectors of Japanese art. JAODB would like to thank the caretakers of these art items for their contribution to this database. The items displayed here are not being offered for sale. Unless otherwise indicated the displayed item is not in the ownership of JAODB or Ross Walker.