Shin Hanga landscapes
Japanese artists sought a new realism at the beginning of the twentieth century. Selected woodblocks and catalogs are exhibited at the Centre Céramique, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) showed the beauty of Japan. Two examples are shown below.
The woodblocks of Hasui stand in the tradition of Hiroshige: impressive landscapes with an occasionable anonymous person are shown. An influence of the impressionism can be noticed, because the areas of colour are no longer bordered by black lines. The themes are romantic, but Hasui shows them without sentimentality. Intriguing realism results by his great mastership. The presented works are later editions. This is no disadvantage, because they have been printed with great skill from the original blocks.
A cyclic movement during four seasons
Japanese landscape prints have a high level for two centuries. When Japan was isolated from the rest of the world, Dutchmen had contact with the ruler or Shogun. They brought books with the famous Dutch landscape art. This information deeply influenced the art of Hokusai and Hiroshige in the nineteenth century. A revival occurred by the Shin (New) Hanga artists during the first half of the next century. Their woodblocks also became more realistic than the paintings by their Western predecessors, the impressionists.
A similar development was made by the Fauvist Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958). He started as an admirer of the post-impressionist, Vincent van Gogh. Later he became a classic landscape artist. Please notice the brightness of his colour lithographs.