KOBAYASHI, Eijiro–”A High Bridge by Night”

The Night Scenes is a series of 21 woodcut prints by Japanese artists published by Hasegawa/Nishinomiya in the early 1900s. Gorgeous work, and apparently popular enough for the prints to have been reissued many times since. These examples are from a print-selling site with several extensive galleries of 20th-century Japanese prints.

The High Bridge at Night struck me for being remarkably similar to Whistler’s famous painting of Old Battersea Bridge, Nocturne: Blue and Gold (1872–75). Whistler, of course, developed his mature style through looking at Japanese prints, and the Tate’s note for his painting says it may have been derived from a Hiroshige print. The Hiroshige looks nothing like the High Bridge at Night, however; was the latter based on an earlier print which Whistler had seen, or is the High Bridge (which post-dates Whistler’s painting) an example of the Japanese stealing back some of their influence from the West?

(Thanks to Wood s Lot for the prints tip.)


ARAI, Yoshimune II–”A Ferry Boat”


KOBAYASHI, Eijiro–”A Pagoda by Moonlight”

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