Artwork Details for Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) "Benkei Bridge"

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Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - Benkei Bridge - 弁慶橋

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Benkei Bridge - 弁慶橋
by Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - 土屋光逸

Artist:Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) - 土屋光逸
Title:Benkei Bridge - 弁慶橋
Date:1933, April (this artwork: Early post-war strike)
Publisher:Doi Hangaten - 土井版画店
Medium:Woodblock - 木版画
Format:Oban - 大判, 24 x 36.1cm (image size)
Condition:Fine apart from some very faint mottled spotting in the left margin. Small Doi watermark.
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Artwork Code:9389-Tsuchiya_Koitsu
Notes:Koitsu Raisonne code TK-DH-3. Early edition from the original pre-war blocks with the very rare in-line seal combination of printer Onohiko and carver Yamada.

There is a lot of talk that the in-line Hangaten seals were first used pre-war and up until the end of the 1940s, so there is a chance this print is a pre-war edition. It is at least an early post-war edition. My own belief is that it was most likely published between 1948 and 1949 when Eiichi re-established the Doi Hangaten business after the war, but the Onohiko printer seal (rather than a Harada seal) adds some weight to the pre-war theory. Either way, it would make it most likely a life-time strike because Koitsu died at the end of 1949.

This artwork is released from my personal collection.
Artist Biography:
Born in 1870 near Hamamatsu City (Shizuoka Prefecture) with the name "Sahei", Koitsu moved to Tokyo at the age of fifteen. He had planned to apprentice with Matsuzaki, a carver for the artist Kobayashi Kiyochika, but instead, he became Kiyochika's apprentice and moved into his home to study art and print design. It is through Kiyochika that Koitsu gained his trademark skill in the subtle use of light and shadow for his landscape prints. Koitsu lived with Kiyochika for 19 years and was considered more a member of Kiyochika's family than an apprentice. He worked and studying with Kiyochika until around Meiji 36 (1903). In Taisho 11 (1922) he moved to his wife's place of birth in Chigasaki City and lived there until his death. Although Koitsu first designed woodblock prints during the Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895), and later worked as a lithographer (around 1897 to 1905), he only really became a successful artist after his chance-meeting with Watanabe Shozaburo, the founder of the shin hanga print movement, at an exhibition of Kiyochika's works in 1931 that marked the anniversary of Kiyochika's death. In 1932 he started to produce landscape prints in the shin hanga style for Watanabe, the first being titled 'Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gion', and he went on to design a total of ten prints for Watanabe. He later designed prints for various publishers including Doi Sadaichi (known incorrectly in the West as Doi Teiichi), and a few prints for Kawaguchi, the Kyoto publisher Baba Nobuhiko, the publisher Tanaka Shobido, and the publisher Takemura. Around the same time that Tsuchiya Koitsu began his shin hanga career, another artist by the name of Ishiwata Koitsu was also pursuing a career as a shin-hanga landscape artist. Despite sharing the same given name "Koitsu", the two men were not related. Their works are sometimes confused since both artists signed their works "Koitsu". However, the styles of their woodblock prints are quite distinctive, as are their seals.
Search:Koitsu, Tsuchiya (1870-1949) (See more prints by this artist)

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