Art on Tuesday: Actors in Spring

Utagawa Kunisada, a Japanese artist (1786–1864), also known as Utagawa III was one of the most famous and influential woodblock painter of his time. Here are two of his  lovely woodblock prints showing actors in a spring scene.

On the left we have “Daimaru, the crown prince of heaven天竺冠者大日丸, a woodblock print showing an actor in motion in a very colorful and blooming outfit. The picture was painted in 1857. On the right there is a “Dancing woman with a candlestand” 踊る美人 by Utagawa designed in the 1830s.
Both woodblock prints present colorful and dynamic scenes set in a spring environment with cherry or plum blossoms in the background.

(source: ukiyo-e.org and Museum of Fine Arts Boston)

Art on Tuesday: Starlings in Spring

Starlings on a cherry tree branch
This woodblock print is a spring picture by Ohara Koson 小原 古邨 (1877–1945). It depicts two starlings on a cherry branch. One bird is looking directly at the spectator and the other is going to jump and fly away any moment soon. The red cherry blossoms are still closed but are already red and soon will be in bloom. The birds are sitting on a very thin branch that seems to be too thin for them both. The picture captures only a short moment. Soon it will be over. A short glimpse of transience.

Art on Tuesday: Early Spring

This woodblock print shows a bullfinch on a plum tree (1912). It was designed by Ohara Koson 小原 古邨 (1877–1945). He was a painter and print designer of Japanese woodblock paintings best known for his pictures with birds and flowers (kachō-e). Ohara joined the “Shin hanga movement“, and he is one of the most famous artists of his time for landscape and animal paintings.