Johnson Collection of Japanese Prints
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Gosai Bridge in Honcho, 1877
Ink on Paper
8 in. x 12 3/8 in. (20.32 cm x 31.43 cm)
Signed Kobayashi Kiyochika in the lower right border. Kanji in the lower border, centered.
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print; oban yoko-e.
Kobayashi Kiyochika explored the newly developed "light pictures" (kosenga) landscape style in his Tokyo views of 1876-1881. This 1877 print "Gosai Bridge in Honcho" is typical of this Western-influenced style, with delicately detailed tree leaves that resemble those found in European copperplate engravings rather than Japanese woodblock prints. "Light pictures" is believed to be a term coined to describe Kiyochika's interests in the subtle effects of reflected light, seen here in the softly tinted clouds whose puffy forms follow Western models, and in the artificial light created by newly installed gas lamp fixtures in Tokyo.
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