[Woodblock Print] Complete Set Travels to the Waterfalls of the Various Provinces (8 Artworks)
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Made in Japan
Artist: Hokusai Katsushika
Series Title: Shokoku Taki Meguri (Travels to the Waterfalls of the Various Provinces)
Printing method: Hand printed woodblock print
Paper: Japanese washi paper Echizen Kizuki Bosho by Living National Treasure Iwano-Ichibe
Wood block: Cherry blossom wood
Dimension of artwork: H370mm x W255mm / about H14.5in x W10in
Base paper dimension: H485mm x W335mm / about H19in x W13.25in
Weight: 1.0 kg/ about 2.2 lbs
Includes explanation of artwork in Japanese
COMPLETE SET: TRAVELS TO THE WATERFALLS OF THE VARIOUS PROVINCES [8 ARTWORKS]
This is a complete set of 8 artworks from Travels to the Waterfalls of the Various Provinces.
SERIES: SHOKOKU TAKI MEGURI (TRAVELS TO THE WATERFALLS OF THE VARIOUS PROVINCES)
This series must have been published the artist was in his early 70’s. The artist’s intent is about capturing the essence of the subject –waterfalls in this case. “What is water?” is the ultimate question the artist tries to answer in his works. The artist does not use black for this series and uses light and dark tones of indigo and brown to finish the pieces.
ARTIST HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA
Hokusai Katsushika’s work is detailed and meticulous yet dynamic; he who would not miss drawing in even a strand of hair on a furry wardrobe if it was necessary to complete the dynamics of the artwork as a whole. The dynamics of his picture can also be seen from the number of woodblock layers needed print one picture; his works use relatively few woodblocks.
WHAT IS A WOODBLOCK PRINT?
Woodblock print became popular in Japan in the Edo Era (1603-1868). Although it is considered a way of mass producing copies of an art, many craftsman are involved in its process, making its production complex, thus the finished product is recognized as a piece of fine artwork. Historically in Japan, Japanese did not understand its value because, to them, it was too common; not only did it take form of art, the method was also used for books, magazines and advertisements; therefore, many original woodblock prints ended up in Western countries where they took interest in exotic foreign pictures.
PRODUCTION AND ATELIER TAKAHASHI BRAND
The woodblock prints introduced here is from Atelier Takahashi who has been printing the woodblock prints since mid-1850’s. In producing a single woodblock print, the following people are involved: artist (who draws the “original” and produces the composition), wood plate carver (who delicately carves numerous wood plate in order to achieve the original drawing when printed), and printer (who applies color to the carved wood plate and transfers it to a piece of paper). Many people only recognize the artist’s name when it comes to woodblock print, but it is the wood plate carver and the printer’s craftsmanship that allows for numerous copies of artist’s work to be distributed. The carver must not transcend the lines drawn by the artist. The printer must layer many colors to achieve the right color and also must precisely overlay the colors so that no spot goes over the drawn lines. The fine craftsmanship of carver and printer is what determines the quality woodblock print as a final product. History of Atelier Takahashi is enough to demonstrate the quality of their craftsmanship: The Second Takahashi was awarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1877, the Third Takahashi was invited to present his printing skills during Prince Arthur’s stay in Japan in 1890, the Fourth Takahashi presented his printing skills to General MacArthur during his term in Japan after World War II. Despite the age of digital printing, the Sixth Takahashi succeeded the name and continues to spread woodblock prints to the world.