HARUNOBU (1724–70)

Cranes at Waka-no-ura
Signed: Harunobu ga 


Harunobu is generally thought to be the first artist to make full-color prints (starting in 1765)—and one of the finest of all Japanese artists. Although he created many calendar and other prints incorporating the concept of longevity, very little of his work can be considered as kacho-e or “nature prints”. This may be his best.

A poem by Yamabe no Akahito (eighth century) reads:

On Waka-no-ura beach as the tide is rising and the shoals are disappearing,
toward the reed-growth shore the cranes fly whooping over.

Very good impression. Fading colors otherwise very good condition.


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