Rain at Maekawa, Sagami

Title: Rain at Maekawa, Sagami

Creator: Kawase Hasui

Date: 1932

Culture: Japanese

Medium: color wood cut

Repository: Connecticut College Asian Art collection

Description: Kawase Hasui’s wood block print depicts an intriguing scene, influenced by modernism and western stylistic elements. This particular print uses perspective to give the effect of depth throughout. There appears to be a vanishing point where the houses meet the silhouette of some trees and a path that curves around. The yellow from the houses light up the scene by creating a strong contrast with the dark, wet outside environment. The only color present in this piece is the yellow from the windows and their reflection along with a faint blue from the pedestrian’s clothing. Hasui’s print gives off a warm aura even though it depicts a dreary night sky, since the brightness coming from the village houses, which reflects in the street, draws your eye almost inside where the people are away from the storm. When Hasui began to pursue an art career, his teacher encouraged him to study western-style painting. Hasui also studied the Ukiyo-e and Japanese style printing. Hasui was a part of the Shin-hanga movement, which was primarily aimed at foreign markets. It appealed to western taste for a romanticized view of Japan which was popular at the time.

Sources: https://oak.conncoll.edu/visual/asian-art/Chu-Griffis/landscapes/content/2001-9_large.html

Author: Edward Keenan

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