Title: Spring Evening at Kintai Bridge
Creator: Hasui Kawase
Material/Medium: Color woodblock print, ink on paper
Dimensions: 36 x 24 cm, 15.5 x 10.25 inches
Repository: [Black] Print Collection, Art History Dept, Cummings Arts Center, Connecticut College, New London
DVC: This is a prominent Japanese landscape image of the Kintai Bridge. The most prominent feature of the image are the distinct cherry blossoms in the foreground. Although the image is a landscape of the Kintai Bridge, the emblematic cherry blossoms give the viewer a sense of traditional Japanese artistry, similar to art from the Shin-hanga period. We can also see a man rowing down the water which to me gives a sense of serenity and tranquility due to the presence of a single person on the water under a traditional bridge, rather than a congested street. Rather than strictly looking at a landscape image, we are greeted with the abundance of Sakura flowers which add to the depth of the image, both visually and spiritually as they are symbolic to the Japanese culture in regards to optimism and revival.
Analysis: This image has similar characteristics to woodblock prints we have studied. It is known that artists often use the black lines to separate colors from each other and this is exactly what is on display here. Each piece of the image, including every individual flower, is separated by black lines to prevent cross contamination of colors and to make each individual color catch our eyes. This aspect of woodblock prints lets Hasui be adventurous in his color choices with the various shades of flowers and stones. Another smaller detail I noticed is Hasui’s red seal in the lower left corner of the image, which is a distinct feature many Japanese artists employ.
Connecticut College Japanese Prints Collections inventory