2nd Series. Japan: Negishi
color woodblock print, with artist's CWB monogram at lower left with title cartouche, NEGISHI.1916, signed below in ink Charles W. Bartlett with copyright mark, publisher's seal Watanabe on lower left margin.
oban tate-e 15 1/8 by 10 in., 38.5 by 25.4 cm
Alternate titles: Winter; and Negishi; Near Yokohama, Japan
Charles W. Bartlett was born in Bridport, Dorsetshire in England. In 1883, at the age of twenty-three, Bartlett applied to the Royal Academy in London, where he was accepted. Three years later he continued his training in Paris at the Académie Julian. In the 1890s Bartlett met his second wife, Catherine (Kate) Main, who not only came from a family of means, but also was a skilled woodworker and carver. With newfound financial security, Bartlett was able to concentrate on his work even more. In addition to painting in oils and watercolors, he became interested in printmaking and started producing etchings. In 1903 he became a member of the Royal West of England Academy, and in 1908 he became one of the twenty-five founding members of the Société de la Peinture à l'Eau in Paris.
Bartlett and his wife traveled to the continent frequently, and in 1913, they commenced a three-year trip around the world, reaching Japan in late 1915. Not long after his arrival, Bartlett visited the studio of the print publisher, Watanabe Shôzaburô, 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, but first he had Bartlett convert the pencil-based designs to Japanese brush and ink paintings in order to facilitate the block carving process (Meech, The New Wave, pp. 46-47).
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. This was followed by a portfolio of six Japanese subjects, titled 2nd Series. Japan.
Julia Meech, Japonisme: Graphic Arts in the 20th Century, in The New Wave, 1993, pp. 46-47
Helen Merritt, Points of Contrast, 1993, pp. 36-39; p.65, no. 16
Yokohama Museum of Art, Eyes Towards Asia: Ukiyo-e Artists from Abroad, 1996, p. 81, no. 93
Richard Miles, and Jennifer Saville, A Printmaker in Paradise: The Art and Life of Charles W. Bartlett, 2001, p. 117, no. 29
Koyama Shuko, Beautiful Shin-Hanga: Revitalization of Ukiyo-e, 2009, p. 59, no. 2-23
(inv. no. C-3047)
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