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Sotheby's (Olympia)

A two-fold screen by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957)
of a coastal landscape

ink and colour on paper, dated Showa ninen natsu (Summer of 1927), signed Hasui with seal

Provenance: A wedding gift from the artist to his brother, the present owner's father.

The artist Kawase Hasui, though better known for his prolific output of exquisite landscape prints, considered himself to be first and foremost a painter. This rare two-panel painted screen is only the second ever recorded, and hitherto has never been publicly exhibited, having always remained in the artist's family. The unidentified stretch of coastal landscape conveys a sense of security and tranquillity and the figures - which seldom feature in the artist's work - are shown moving at a leisurely pace as if interacting in perfect harmony with nature. The scene could be quite simply a nostalgic glimpse of a favourite spot which he and his brother visited as children or on a deeper level, perhaps it is intended to represent an authentic, untainted and traditional Japan, for which the artist yearned in a modern era of consumerism and growing westernization.

all text & images Sotheby's (Olympia)

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