Ishii Hakutei 石井柏亭 (1882-1958)
Sources: British Museum website http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx; Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 43 and as footnoted.
While Fisherman was not the first print done entirely by an artist, it was the first using "the tradition-bound woodblock that had always been used exclusively as a means of reproduction."4 "As Hakutei saw the situation, Japanese woodblock reproduction was inevitably declining in the face of Western printing technology. In sosaku hanga (whereby the artist created the design, carved the woodblock and did the printing), however, artists could expand the vitality of woodblock in new directions and continue to give the 'taste of Japanese hanga' to the world."5 Lawrence Smith credits Hakutei with "coining the term hanga for an [original] art print.6
From 1907 to 1910 Hakutei co-founded and was chief editor of the magazine Hōsun 方寸, where many of his paintings were published in reproduction and where his ideas on the development of Japanese art were put forward. He also took part in the literary group Pan no kai, formed in 1909, which "tried to emulate the atmosphere of artists gathering in Parisian cafes."7 He went to Europe in 1910 and lived in Paris from 1911 to 1912.8 On his return in 1912 he continued his prints series Twelve Views of Tokyo (see below), begun in 1910. Ishii wrote extensively on the European art scene and his experiences, reporting on the Fauve, Futurist, and Cubist exhibits he viewed overseas, as well as on Kandinsky and the Blauer Reiter group.9
The Print Series "Twelve Views of Tokyo"
Samples of Signatures and Seals of the Artist
柏亭満吉画 Hakutei mankichi ga with 凡骨刀 Bonkotsu tō seal of the carver Igami Bonkotsu 伊上凡骨 (1877-1933)
柏亭筆 Hakutei hitsu with 凡骨刀 Bonkotsu tō seal of the carver Igami Bonkotsu 伊上凡骨 (1877-1933)
Prints in Collection
click on thumbnail for print details