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Goyo (1880-1921)

Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto

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Goyo (1880-1921)
Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto
Woodblock Print
January 1920
17.3" x 10.9"
Goyo ga


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Hashiguchi Goyo

About the art

From across the Kamo River, snow falls steadily and blankets the city and the mountains that border Kyoto. The bridge cuts across, leading us into the city. The clear blue color of the river strikes a strong contrast to the white of the rest of the scene. Goyō’s use of a simple color palette gives the print a sense of clarity and elegance, and allows viewers to savor the details in the print without being distracted by color.  This print was completed by Goyō during his lifetime.  It was designed for Edo-e Kanshokai members.  Reverse seals: Goyo Hanga Kenkyujo, Sample #1, Hashiguchi Collection

About the artist

Goyo Hashiguchi (né Kiyoshi Hashiguchi) was born in Kagoshima to Kanemitsu Hashiguchi, a Shijo-style painter. Goyo began his career in Kano painting at age 10, moving to Tokyo in 1899 to study with the leading painter Gaho Hashimoto. He soon shifted to Western-style painting under Seiki Kuroda at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1905. Shortly thereafter, the prominent Shin Hanga publisher Shozaburo Watanabe convinced him to try his hand at printmaking. Watanabe published Goyo’s first woodblock print, Nude After Bathing in 1915. Goyo’s sensitive portrayal of women in a delicate, serene and infinitely graceful mode led to his immediate popularity.

Unlike many Shin Hanga artists, Goyo established his own workshop. His standards were so high that he rarely allowed his editions to run more than eighty prints. This decision resulted in some of the most technically superb woodblock prints to be produced since the late 18th century. On February 24, 1921, Goyo died from an ear infection, the aftermath of a severe case of influenza. Goyo’s entire artistic career spanned 15 short years, of which only the last five were spent producing prints. He completed a total of 14 prints. At his death, Goyo left many works in various stages of completion. Members of his family completed these designs following his death.

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