Bartlett

Charles W. Bartlett

1860-1940

Japan Series: Kyoto

color woodblock print, the artist's CWB monogram in the composition at lower left, with the title and date cartouche, KYOTO. 1916, publisher's round seal Watanabe (Watanabe Shozaburo) at lower left corner, red circular SERIES NO. TWO seal in upper left corner, and signed in red crayon on the bottom margin, Charles. W Bartlett, ca. 1916

oban yoko-e 9 7/8/ by 15 in, 25.2 by 38 cn

Alternate title: The Bridge

An original mat window inscribed by the artist notes: "Pilgrims, peasants and Geisha girls. They cross the bridge--whither?"

Not long after Bartlett arrive in Japan in the autumn of 1915, Bartlett visited the studio of the print publisher, Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), who probably would have been working on Fritz Capelari (1884-1950) prints at the time. Bartlett showed a selection of watercolor sketches from his travels which Watanabe proposed converting to woodblock prints.

In 1916, Watanabe published a total of twenty-two Bartlett prints. He began with Indian subjects; the first six were presented in a portfolio titled 1st Series. India., followed by a portfolio of six Japanese subjects, titled 2nd Series. Japan which Watanabe offered as a set within the portfolio as well as individual impressions. The red circular series seal on this print indicates it is from the early portfolio edition.

By December of the same year a selection of the prints were on view in New York City at the Goupil Galleries, recorded in The New York Times on December 11th under Art Notes (following a favorable paragraph on a group of Claude Monet's paintings offered at the Durand Ruel Galleries).

"Another group of prints are by an Englishman, Charles W. Bartlett, living in Japan and adapting the method of the Japanese print to the translation of his own vision. Several of his subjects are Japanese, and he manages to introduce a modern and personal note while keeping to the convention of the Ukiyo-e school."

References:
Helen Merritt, Point of Contact, 1993, pp. 36-39
Julia Meech, Japonisme: Graphic Arts in the 20th Century, in The New Wave, 1993, pp. 46-47; and p. 211, pl. 291
Yokohama Museum of Art, Eyes Towards Asia: Ukiyo-e Artists from Abroad, 1996, p. 82, no. 95-a
Richard Miles & Jennifer Saville, A Printmaker in Paradise: The Art and Life of Charles W. Bartlett, 2001, p. 118, no. 31
(inv. no. 10-5402)

price: $3,800

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