Eight Views of Omi: Miidera
(Omi hakkei no uchi: Omi Hakkei no uchi: Miidera)
signed, dated and titled at upper left corner, Omi hakkei no uchi Miidera Taisho rokunen shichigatsu Shinsui (Eight Views of Omi, Miidera, Taisho 6 , July, Shinsui), with limited edition publisher's seal on verso, Ito Shinsui ga, Omi hakkei, shusatsu nihyaku mai kagiri no uchi dai - ban (picture by Ito Shinsui, Eight Views of Omi, limited edition of 200, not numbered), and with large oval Kintei (with compliments) seal, 1917
aiban tate-e 12 7/8 by 9 in., 32.8 by 22.8 cm
An evening view of rain at the Miidera Temple; a bell hangs from the roof eaves at the center of the composition. Much care was given to the gradations of colors on the print, with the background rendered in two blocks of soft striations of pale blue and pale grey, and the dramatic grey to black bokashi toward the upper edge emphasizing the weight of the nocturnal storm. Rather than using light grey or mica for the rain, it is instead achieved in the negative as white lines contrasting against the darker colors of the print.
In his early collaborations with Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), Shinsui produced both landscapes and bijinga. When Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) saw the prints from this series he was inspired to become a woodblock print artist himself. After Watanabe was able to add Hasui to his circle as a landscape artist, it seems Shinsui, already recognized for his depictions of women, became more defined as a bijinga artist, and produced few subsequent landscapes until the late 1930s.
In Water and Shadow, James King references this print and asserts that Shinsui's Omi Hakkei series was the most important series the artist published, primarily for the role it played in propelling the great landscape artist Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) into printmaking as well as the development of shin-hanga in general.
Kato, Junzo, comp., Kindai Nihon hanga taikei, 1975-76, Vol. 1, pl. 174
Irwin J. Pachter, Kawase Hasui and His Contemporaries: The Shin Hanga (New Print) Movement in Landscape Art, Everson Museum of Art, 1986 , p. 43, pl. 13
Tadasu Watanabe, Ito Shinsui: All the Woodblock Prints, 1992, p. 31, pl. 14
Amy Reigle Stephens, gen. ed., The New Wave: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 185, pl. 237
Amy Reigle Newland, ed., Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 2004, p. 108, pl. 96
James King, Resounding Tones: Hasui and the Japanese Landscape Print Tradition, in Kendall Brown, ed., Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2014, pp. 33-37, no. 11.5
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, 2015, p. 108 cat. no. 52
(inv. no. 10-5028)
price: $7,500 (reserved)
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
October 14, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...