Sacred Bridge, Nikko in Snow
(Nikko Shinkyo no yuki)
embellished with sprinkled gofun, the title at upper right followed by artist's seal Shotei, published by Watanabe Shozaburo, post-earthquake, ca. 1924-1935
chuban tate-e 10 1/8 by 6 7/8 in., 25.6 by 17.6 cm
While images of any meisho (famous view) being portraits, in a sense, of a paricular location, tend to be by their very nature, quite similar, this design compares noticeably with a similar composition by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), Views of Famous Sites in Japan: The Sacred Bridge (Nihon meisho zue: Shinkyo), published by Matsuki Heikichi more than three decades earlier in 1897. Whether deliberate or not, Shotei's homage to Kiyochika's print reflects the earlier artist's importance among the shin-hanga milieu. Shotei's contemporary, Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), asserted that it was Kiyochika who had the greatst influence on his work. Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), the leading publisher in the field, held a large collection of Kiyochika's work, and in November of 1931 he helped organize a massive memorial exhibition of Kiyochika's work at the Itoya Department Store in Tokyo, contributing over one third of the works on view.
Shimizu's 2005 monograph on Shotei illustrates the set of five double-sided cherry wood blocks used to produce this print.
Watanabe Shozaburo, Catalogue of Wood-Cut Colour Prints of S. Watanabe, 1936, no. 192
Amy Reigle Stephens, gen. ed., The New Wave: Twentieth-Century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, 1993, p. 70, no. 22 (Kiyochika print)
Hisao Shimizu, Syotei (Hiroaki) Takahashi, 2005, p. 54, no. 242 and 243 (set of woodblocks)
Hisao Shimizu, The Collected Print Works of Shotei Takahashi, A Modern Ukiyo-e Painter, 2006, p. 90, no. 88
Marc Kahn, Shotei.com, cat. no. C-22
(inv. no. C-3215)
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