‘New prints’ refresh Japanese subjects

Bid to £600 at John Nicholson's was this woodcut view of Mount Fuji, titled Suzukawa, 1935, by Hiroshi Yoshida.

Shin-hanga, meaning ‘new prints’, emerged in Japan during the early 20th century. Aimed at Western tastes, the artistic movement combined the traditional colourful woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e with nostalgic and romanticised Japanese subjects.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Gabriel Berner

An early master of shin-hanga was the painter and woodblock printmaker Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950). He is known not only for his calm and serene designs but also for being involved in the production of many of his prints, in some cases going so far as to carve blocks himself.

A group of shin-hanga prints including seven Yoshida woodcuts was consigned from a single source to a picture sale at John Nicholson’s (25% buyer’s premium) in Haslemere on January 29. The group sold above low estimates pitched around the £100 mark to a mix of buyers including a London Gallery and private collectors based in the UK and North America.

Bid to £600 (estimate £100-200) was this view of Mount Fuji, above, titled Suzukawa, 1935, signed and measuring 9½ x 15in (24 x 38cm). It was offered together with a view of a temple titled Omuro. A bid of £500 (estimate £80-120) secured a depiction of Tomonoura Harbour in Fukuyama.

A woodcut depicting a snow-covered coastal scene by English printmaker Charles William Bartlett (1860-1940) made £750 (estimate £400-600).

The print is from a series of 21 woodblocks the artist made on a trip to Japan for the print publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō (1885-1962) who was the driving force behind shin-hanga.