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Climbing Snow Valley in Habuba

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Climbing Snow Valley in Habuba
by Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950)

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Artist: Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950) gc
Title: Climbing Snow Valley in Habuba
Date 1st edition?Not set
Publisher 1st edition?Hiroshi Yoshida
Publisher (this edition)?Self
Medium (1st edition): Oil painting
Medium (this edition): Oil painting
Format (1st edition): Double Oban
Format (this edition): Double Oban
DB item code: 42027
Notes (1st edition)?Thursday, 2 July 2009

Catalog ID: 7784
Artist: Hiroshi Yoshida
Title: Climbing Snow Valley in Habuba
Print Type: Orignal Oil Painting on canvas
Size: 17-1/2 X 23-1/2 " (Canvas); 23 x 29 " (framed)
Condition: Very fine.
Notes: Signed by the artist, lower right : "H. Yoshida".

Hakuba, in Nagano Prefecture on Honshu, is now one of the most popular areas in the Japanese Alps for skiing and hiking/climbing. In the Winter Olympics of 1998, the area was the site of Men's Downhill, Super Giant Slalom, Nordic Combined and the Ski Jump. In Yoshida's day, the area was popular with Spring hikers, as Snow Valley retained its snow for a number of months. In this view, climbers are seen ascending the pitch, wearing straw coats to ward off rain and snow.

A similar scene was portrayed by the artist in his series, Twelve Scenes in the Japan Alps, 1926; Abe #36.

Provenance: Hiroshi Yoshida, Hodaka Yoshida (1926 - 1996), and by descent in the Yoshida Family. Inscribed on the reverse, "Snow Valley at Hakuba, by Yoshida Hiroshi". Click here to view inscription.

Also inscribed on the left edge of the canvas, "Artist: Yoshida Hiroshi, 1-13-40 Inogashira, Mitake-shi. Yoshida Hodaka". Click here to see inscription.
Notes (this edition)?
Artist Bio: Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950) This article is a review of the book The complete Woodblock Prints of Yoshida Hiroshi published by ABE Corporation, ISBN 4-87242-121-3. Portrait of Yoshida Hiroshi Yoshida Hiroshi is considered one of the leading figures of the renewal of Japanese printmaking after the end of the Meiji period (1912). The renewal was based on two groups of artists, the shin hanga (modern prints) and the sosaku hanga (creative prints) movement. The Son of a School Principal Yoshida Hiroshi was born as the son of an elementary school principal. His artistic talent was discovered early and at the age of 18 he entered a private art school in Tokyo. Yoshida started as a painter and soon won many exibition prizes. But it was not before 1920 that he started creating woodblock prints. Yoshida Hiroshi then met Watanabe Shozaburo, publisher and owner of the Watanabe print store in Tokyo. Watanabe published the first seven of Yoshida Hiroshi's woodblock prints. The Making of a Japanese Print The Shalimar Gardens, 1932 The traditional process of creating a Japanese woodblock print was a cooperation of three strictly separated skills: the artist who designed the print subject, the carver and finally the printer and publisher. In contrast, the sosaku hanga followers believed that the process of creating a print - design, carving, printing - should be performed by the artist himself. Although Yoshida is usally considered as a member of the shin hanga movement, he followed the same ambitions of creating a print by himself. In 1923 Watanabe's store was completely destroyed in the fires that followed the great earthquake. All of Yoshida's woodblocks and more than a hundred of his prints were lost. After coming back from his third visit to the United States, Yoshida in 1925 started employing his own artisan carvers and printers. He supervised them very closely and often he carved a block himself. He thought that he had to be more skilled in all aspects of producing a print than each of his workers. Yoshida Hiroshi - an Avid Traveller Kinoe, 1930 Yoshida travelled a lot. He came to the United States, Europe, Africa, India, China, Korea and througout Japan. Another passion was mountaineering. He even established an association called Nihon Sangakuga Kyokai, the Japan Alpine Artist Association. His prints reflect both his love for travelling and for mountains. Most of his prints show landscape scenes from his travels and mountain subjects from Japan and the European Alps. Although his roots were in Japanese traditions, Yoshida was a real cosmopolitan artist who merged both worlds to something new and fascinating. When looking at his print scenes from abroad, you have the impression of being "on the spot". Yoshida is cited with the words "True art is cosmopolitan and the result therefore of external influences as well as of the inherent vitality and life of the different nations". Towards the end of his life, he planned a series entitled One Hundred Views of the World. Yoshida died before he could put his dream into reality. At the end of his life, Yoshida Hiroshi had created 259 woodblock prints - seven published by Watanabe and the rest by Yoshida himself. It should not be forgotten that he gave the world even more than his own works of art: His both sons, Toshi and Hodaka Yoshida became great artists themselves.

The items 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.