SHOTEI - Japanese Woodblock Print MULLER ESTATE 1936

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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Oct 11, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House
SHOTEI - Japanese Woodblock Print MULLER ESTATE 1936 TAKAHASHI SHOTEI (Hiroaki) Returning Ships at Evening Date: 1936, 1936 Watanabe Cat. No: 189
Size: chuban approx. 7.2" x 10.1"
Condition: VG, no flaws, uncirculated print, never framed, "Made in Japan" stamped on verso
Impression: Fine, excellent registration, solid keylines and bleed through to verso
Color: Fine, nice bright original color
Provenance: from the Robert O. Muller Collection (see below for more information) In this print Shotei borrowed a bit of the composition from Hiroshige's famous print from the series 60 Odd Views of the Provinces. In print #63 of that series, Hiroshige showed only the top of the mast and sail of a ship sailing near Nagasaki. Listed as C-10 on WHO WAS ROBERT O. MULLER?
Robert O. Mullerâe(tm)s love affair with Japanese prints began one day in the 1930s, when as a student in New York City he spotted a Hasui in a gallery window, and immediately arranged to purchase the print. As a newly wed in 1940 he went on a print shopping tour to Japan with his wife w he met the shin hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo and Watanabeâe(tm)s stable of artists including: Kawase Hasui, Shiro Kasamatsu, and Ito Shinsui. He also met and befriended Hiroshi Yoshida.

After WWII, Muller continued to deal in Japanese prints, but he was

When Mr. Muller passed away on April 10, 2003, he had left possibly the largest and finest collection of 20th century Japanese prints in the world, and the question of what would become of his notorious collection was a major topic among Japanese print collectors. The finest 20th century prints from his collection were given as a gift to the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and an exhibit was mounted. Other portions of the collection were sold at auction and still more remains with his heirs. Several books have been published about the collection.

ABOUT TAKAHASHI SHOTEI
Takahashi Shotei was born in Tokyo with the given name of Takahashi Katsutaro. At a young age he was trained in Nihon-ga , the traditional Japanese painting style by his uncle Matsumoto Fuko, and beginning around 1907 Shotei started designing for the Watanabe Color Print Company. Shotei was among the first designers to be recruited into Watanabe's stable of artists, which would later expand to include Goyo, Shinsui, Hasui, Kasamatsu, Koson and Koitsu among others. Many Watanabe prints were designed for export, primarily to North America, w the demand for all things Japanese was high in the early 20th century.

By 1923 Shotei had produced nearly 500 designs for Watanabe, when Tokyo was hit by the Great Kanto earthquake -- the worst recorded natural catastrophe in the history of Japan. The fires ignited by the earthquake raged for three days, and Watanabe's print shop and all the woodblocks created by Shotei and the other early shin hanga artists, were destroyed.

After the earthquake Shotei created another 250 prints mostly depicting scenic Japanese landscapes in the shin hanga style he had helped to define. He continued to work for Watanabe, but also worked with the publishers Fusui Gabo and Shobido Tanaka, w he had more control over the finished print than was possible with Watanabe.

Shotei used a variety of names, signatures and seals during his lifetime. From 1907 until 1922 he used the name Shotei, and after 1922 Hiroaki and Komei.

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