Hirosaki Castle, Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950, Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan). From a Series: Eight Scenes of Cherry Blossoms – Sakura Hachidai, 16″ x 10.5, pre-WWII, c.1935. Hiroshi Yoshida, Taishō period (1912–1926), Shōwa period (1926–1989), was a 20th C. Japanese painter and woodblock printmaker. He is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the shin-hanga style and is noted especially for his excellent landscape prints. He began his artistic training with his adoptive father, a painting teacher and elementary school principal. He entered private art school at the age of 18 in Tokyo. As a painter he soon won many art exhibition prizes. He began creating wood block prints after 1920, following the Sosaku Hanga tradition of performing the entire process – design, carving, printing, of a print himself. In 1923 all of Yoshida Hiroshi’s wood blocks and more than a hundred of his prints were destroyed in the fires that followed the Great Kanto Earthquake. In 1925 He established his own studio. Prints were made under his close supervision, Yoshida combined the ukiyo-e collaborative system with the sosaku-hanga principle of “artists prints”, and formed a third school, separating himself from the shin-hanga and sosaku-hanga movement. In 1902 Yoshida played a leading role in the organization of the Meiji Fine Arts Society into the Pacific Painting Association. Yoshida’s extensive travel and acquaintance with Americans influenced his art considerably. The artistic lineage of the Yoshida family includes eight artists since the Edo period (1603-1868). His lifetime prints are signed “Hiroshi Yoshida” in pencil and marked with a jizuri (self-printed) seal outside the margin. Within the image, prints are signed “Yoshida” with brush and sumi ink beside a red “Hiroshi” seal. This design is illustrated at plate #192 of “The Complete Woodblock Prints of Yoshida Hiroshi”, Abe Publishing co., Ltd., 1987.
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